Marvin Unger Soft Talk (2020)

An exploration in social-distance communication and ASMR microchipped in the public space of Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht.

A lack of touch can increase the feeling of loneliness. That's because our brains produce less of the hormone oxytocin, also called the cuddle hormone. Oxytocin has a calming effect on the body and increases empathy. The project Soft Talk or "Do Microchips whisper about electric trees?" is investigating whether ASMR can also manifest in public space.

Analog:

Listening to the Environment
The user listens and becomes aware of oneself and the environment

Whispering with Strangers
The user overcomes the threshold of talking to strangers by jumping to a more intimate way of conversation: whispering

Digital:

Messaging the Community
The user leaves a message for the people in the neighbourhood and the online community using speech-to-text, which is projected on the floor and streamed to the RAUM website using CCTV

The whole installation is made of copper, which is antibacterial and offers a lower survival rate of COVID-19 on the surface than other materials. Copper is also a commonly used material to transmit sounds and information.

Photo Credit, Drone Shot: Igor Roelofsen

Production Copper Cones: Drückerei Hommel

RAUM Utrecht
Projectleiter: Larissa Koers
Curator: Rinke Vreeke
Marketing, Communicatie: Iris Loos
Website: Leonie Dijkstra
Productie Programmering: Joost Ruijter
‘Prachtige Wezens’: Mounhim Tahtahi


Facilitair Management: Quentin Davelaar
Vooronderzoek: Jacob Herrie
Directeur: Donica Buisman
Design research direction: Jop Japenga, Olga van Lingen
Art direction: Marije Hobo, Anouk Diemel, Dennis Vlietinck
Productie: Dennis Mulder, Jesper Groen, Bram Staal