6,264 research outputs found

    Throwing our Voices: Ventriloquism as New Media Activism

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    In the fall of 2010, Chevron released an ad campaign designed to respond to consumer worries about the conduct of oil companies. Each ad depicted “customers” voicing rather nonspecific concerns about oil companies, answered by the “We Agree” slogan and information about something positive the company is doing in particular communities. Just before the campaign’s official roll-out, the anti-corporate activist group known as the Yes Men produced a series of sophisticated parody ads that spoke in more detail about the damage the company has done in specific countries. Designed to be mistaken for the real, the dummy campaign was distributed with a fake press release purporting to be from Chevron. It was indeed picked up by the press, followed by a cascade of confused articles quoting alternately from the company’s real retraction and a subsequent fake retraction. The Yes Men succeeded in temporarily “throwing their voice” into the body of the Chevron corporation, using a savvy form of ventriloquism as a means of directing the public conversation. Although it is normally the powerful (like large corporations) who are heard in public life, often speaking both for themselves and others, the tactic of ventriloquism temporarily reverses that flow. The case study provides a compelling example of a method of capitalizing on the democratic potential of new media, wielding parody and play as a weapon of the crowd

    Interaction of perceptual grouping and crossmodal temporal capture in tactile apparent-motion

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    Previous studies have shown that in tasks requiring participants to report the direction of apparent motion, task-irrelevant mono-beeps can "capture'' visual motion perception when the beeps occur temporally close to the visual stimuli. However, the contributions of the relative timing of multimodal events and the event structure, modulating uni- and/or crossmodal perceptual grouping, remain unclear. To examine this question and extend the investigation to the tactile modality, the current experiments presented tactile two-tap apparent-motion streams, with an SOA of 400 ms between successive, left-/right-hand middle-finger taps, accompanied by task-irrelevant, non-spatial auditory stimuli. The streams were shown for 90 seconds, and participants' task was to continuously report the perceived (left-or rightward) direction of tactile motion. In Experiment 1, each tactile stimulus was paired with an auditory beep, though odd-numbered taps were paired with an asynchronous beep, with audiotactile SOAs ranging from -75 ms to 75 ms. Perceived direction of tactile motion varied systematically with audiotactile SOA, indicative of a temporal-capture effect. In Experiment 2, two audiotactile SOAs-one short (75 ms), one long (325 ms)-were compared. The long-SOA condition preserved the crossmodal event structure (so the temporal-capture dynamics should have been similar to that in Experiment 1), but both beeps now occurred temporally close to the taps on one side (even-numbered taps). The two SOAs were found to produce opposite modulations of apparent motion, indicative of an influence of crossmodal grouping. In Experiment 3, only odd-numbered, but not even-numbered, taps were paired with auditory beeps. This abolished the temporal-capture effect and, instead, a dominant percept of apparent motion from the audiotactile side to the tactile-only side was observed independently of the SOA variation. These findings suggest that asymmetric crossmodal grouping leads to an attentional modulation of apparent motion, which inhibits crossmodal temporal-capture effects

    From ventriloquism to high reliability: Object of activity and figures’ significance

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    International audienceThis paper presents the results of a communicational study of High Reliability Organizations (HRO). Starting from a gap in the HRO literature, we seek to deepen the understanding of communicational nature of interactions within HROs. In particular, we contribute to the question related to the track: What forms of talk do we find in organizational practice, and how do they differ in shaping and constituting organizational phenomena in our study of reliability? We draw on the concept of ventriloquism (Cooren, 2010) and examine its impact and importance on the production of high reliability. We base our work on two empirical case studies. The first concerns heavy handling activity in a naval defense industry, and the second concerns the care provided to demented patients in a short-term geriatric ward. We use actor network theory, or ANT (Latour, 2005), to build an original analysis framework of ventriloquism that qualifies the figures in terms of “actor”, “actant” or “object.” Through a comparative approach, we show that ventriloquism can serve or disserve the high reliability of an organization. Specifically, we demonstrate that the nature of the object of activity (Engeström, 1987) is a crucial element for the relevance of ventriloquism. We describe the impact of ventriloquism on HROs and build a preliminary typology of talk practices that foster it. We conclude by discussing the theoretical, methodological and practical contributions of our research

    Comic Impossibilities

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    Argues for the controversial and initially counterintuitive thesis that theatrical magic (that is, the performance of conjuring tricks) is a form of standup comedy

    "Sitting too close to the screen can be bad for your ears": A study of audio-visual location discrepancy detection under different visual projections

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    In this work, we look at the perception of event locality under conditions of disparate audio and visual cues. We address an aspect of the so called “ventriloquism effect” relevant for multi-media designers; namely, how auditory perception of event locality is influenced by the size and scale of the accompanying visual projection of those events. We observed that recalibration of the visual axes of an audio-visual animation (by resizing and zooming) exerts a recalibrating influence on the auditory space perception. In particular, sensitivity to audio-visual discrepancies (between a centrally located visual stimuli and laterally displaced audio cue) increases near the edge of the screen on which the visual cue is displayed. In other words,discrepancy detection thresholds are not fixed for a particular pair of stimuli, but are influenced by the size of the display space. Moreover, the discrepancy thresholds are influenced by scale as well as size. That is, the boundary of auditory space perception is not rigidly fixed on the boundaries of the screen; it also depends on the spatial relationship depicted. For example,the ventriloquism effect will break down within the boundaries of a large screen if zooming is used to exaggerate the proximity of the audience to the events. The latter effect appears to be much weaker than the former

    Breaching bodily boundaries: posthuman (dis)embodiment and ecstatic speech in lip-synch performances by boychild

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    Employing a sci-fi inspired aesthetic, queer, black, trans artist, boychild presents audiences with a future vision of human embodiment. Strobe lighting makes her appear fragmented or as if she were a hologram. An electronic light flickers behind her teeth. Her eyes are obscured by whited-out contact lenses. boychild’s is a body interfaced with technology. She is imaged as non-human, cyborgian. Whilst boychild considers her onstage persona to be female, her body reads ambiguously. Transgressing demarcations between the supposedly polarised categories of organic/machine, male/female, the queer form of embodiment she presents is posthuman. Implementing the theoretical principles of Rosi Braidotti’s anti-humanist concept of the posthuman and Donna Haraway’s cyborg politics, I argue that boychild’s engagement with the posthuman does not end with aesthetics, rather it extends to the plotting of a posthuman politics, posing a radical challenge to heteronormative body politics. Theorising boychild’s lip-synch performances, I argue for her style of performance as a technologised form of ventriloquism, as she ‘speaks’ with the voice of another or the voice of another speaks through her. Using Mladen Dolar’s and Slavoj ĆœiĆŸek’s psychoanalytical philosophies in conjunction with Steven Connor’s literature on ventriloquism, I unpick the intricacies of presence and power inherent to her ‘voice’ and indicate its broader political implications

    Grouping by feature of cross-modal flankers in temporal ventriloquism

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    Signals in one sensory modality can influence perception of another, for example the bias of visual timing by audition: temporal ventriloquism. Strong accounts of temporal ventriloquism hold that the sensory representation of visual signal timing changes to that of the nearby sound. Alternatively, underlying sensory representations do not change. Rather, perceptual grouping processes based on spatial, temporal, and featural information produce best-estimates of global event properties. In support of this interpretation, when feature-based perceptual grouping conflicts with temporal information-based in scenarios that reveal temporal ventriloquism, the effect is abolished. However, previous demonstrations of this disruption used long-range visual apparent-motion stimuli. We investigated whether similar manipulations of feature grouping could also disrupt the classical temporal ventriloquism demonstration, which occurs over a short temporal range. We estimated the precision of participants’ reports of which of two visual bars occurred first. The bars were accompanied by different cross-modal signals that onset synchronously or asynchronously with each bar. Participants’ performance improved with asynchronous presentation relative to synchronous - temporal ventriloquism - however, unlike the long-range apparent motion paradigm, this was unaffected by different combinations of cross-modal feature, suggesting that featural similarity of cross-modal signals may not modulate cross-modal temporal influences in short time scales