keywords: Posthumanism, Civil Violence, Device Art, Voice Modulation, Speech Synthesis


We live in a world where, apparently, does not exist alternative models against the hegemony established by the Capitalist World System, structured around an international work division and an interestatal global system, where our role as citizens have been reduced and constrained to a consumer condition and where the politic power it's no more than a facade of economical interests.

Today, globalization appears to be an undeniable fact. We live in an interconnected world, in the illusion of a global citizenship, intimately integrated to the advances and progress of technology. In this illusory trend, everyday we see how our systems are supported by technocratic discourses based on numbers, calculations and economical decisions. This voiding of the political discourses it's also an emptying of meaning of the information itself, following the dominating trend of to understand it under an aesthetic bias. Under the new numeric order, where information "is beautiful", we seem to forget that this same information is generated from us in the constant tabulation and monitoring of our actions.

However, these processes based in concepts as modernity and progress, have also an ideological bias, which is continuously hidden by technology offer. In benefit of a politic, cultural and economics hegemonization, global society emerges at expenses of the grown of inequality, the poverty creation and masses of people marginalized of the benefits and wealth of few.

Although diverse cultural, technical and economic processes has lead us to understand information exclusively in a virtual dimension and understand human identity as an information pattern, the emerging discontent with the current model, which seems to arise in different places and at different scales, turns our attention on material reality. The discontent, inequality, political repression, civil violence, are all physical manifestations of the overflow of a system that continues feeding silently the numerical speculation of our subjectivities.

Is in this context where I decided to take the human voice as medium, and a respiratory mask as metaphor of civil violence to build a musical instrument. The voice is par excellence the expressive medium for human communication, however, its use as instrument is restricted by silents social and cultural precepts that operate over the individuals.

The goal of this project has been to design an instrument that allows to explore the musical and sound posibilities of the human voice, making possible experiences of interpretation and improvisation as individually as collective, widening, expanding and amplifying the possibilities of the human voice electronically modified as an expressive/musical medium, proposing a re-semantization device that seeks to make explicit the violence present in the relations of inequality and inequity that occur at local and global scales as a result of the current economic model.


SHOUT! is a voice instrument built from a rubber respiratory mask of two ways "hacked" with a DIY voice modulator electronic circuit. For the present event, the mask device is plugged to a haversack "hacked" with a portable amplifier, allowing it to be used in exteriors.

In SHOUT!, DIY practices are understood as new forms of apocalyptic or urban folklore, with ethical and political implications defining a worldview that, sustained in a critical notion of the technology, questions the current state of things.

SHOUT! agencies cyberpunk as a metaphor to understand and articulate new meanings to the relationship between human and machines, embodying -in the form of a respiratory mask- our current condition as global citizens faced with the injustice, economic violence and the brutality of the police repression of our actions and voices.


As a first step I recovered antecedents of voice devices in which we could see, either in the Tipoo's Tiger in the late XVIII century or today's Deus Cantando of Peter Ablinger, the interest of to reproduce and interpret the phenomena of the human voice from diverse perspectives and technical approaches reflecting different cultural, scientific and philosophical paradigms that define the blurred boundaries of the human and the machine.

[Picture presenting speech synthesis antecedents and archeotypical users]

The project was originaly conceived as a piece of data visualization, with the aim of passing variables from the economic and political domains through the sound domain, using of speech synthesis and text-to-speech. However, going deeper into this line of research, I begin to isolate the variables involved, leading it to the construction of a speech synthesis instrument.


I begin the design research process defining four thematic axis which were presented to a focus group in the form of an interview. They were: voice as identity, voice as instrument, the animal in the voice, and technologies as extensions of the body. The focus group was formed by sound artists, visual/media artists, art curators, singers/musicians and designers.

The results of this preliminary survey allow me to develop a second test. This time, to a different focus group were presented a mock-up consisting in a respirator mask, a DIY voice modulator and a electric guitar effect. Amplification, modulation/filtering, feedback and masking were used as experience variables.



[WillyMC@Still from the Selfhood Test]

From the observations obtained from the test, were defined four Key Interactions for the instrument:
-amplify and modify electronically the user voice.
-allows both an individually as a collective experience.
-give the user a wide control over effects and filters.
-transform /protect/change the user identity.

Shout!: Ipseidad ( 2011 ) from Christian Oyarzún on Vimeo.


[Concept art for the instrument]

In the construction phase, we privilege the use of low cost materials, following the guidelines of Open Source Hardware and DIY practices. Once finished the full project documentation should be published on the web to be accessible to the community.


[Schematic for the HT8950, the IC used as solution]



[Protoboarding the circuit…]

[…and the PCB solution]


The SHOUT! mask has been used as part of PostFolkCyberPunkDemo, a solo performance consistent in the execution of diverse devices integrated in the form of a DIY band. This band, called <voodoochild/> has as core a chain of electronic and digital protocols that play different textures, algorithmic rhythms and generative patterns.

Both image and audio are generated in real time, synthesized voices sing random lyrics while electronic moans of human altered voice feedbacks in the background, defining a dark and dense inmersive atmosphere in an intimate psychedelic experience


Factoría Italia

Factoría Italia

[live@2nd Open Hardware & DIY Electronic Circuits Meeting
organizado por Chimbalab
Maker Space Santiago

GRITA!@bosque invisible

First Annual Meeting of Art and Technology.
Collective exhibition curated by Yto Aranda.
Cultural Civic Center El Bosque, Santiago.

Rubber respiratory mask of two ways
"hacked" with a DIY voice modulator electronic circuit.
Bass Amplifier.
70x60x20 cm

The device is presented to the public so they can alter and modulate electronically their voice, that is returned impersonal and mechanized.

[Installation/object detail]

[Boy facing the SHOUT! device]

[Childrens using the SHOUT! device]


How we became posthuman:
Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
N. Katherine Hayles

Conceptuals Changes from the Perspective of the World-System
Ramón Grosfoguel

Modeling civil violence: An agent-based computational approach
Joshua M. Epstein

Device Art: A New Form of Media Art from a Japanese Perspective
Machiko Kusahara

See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception
Madeline Schwartzman

Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music
Joel Chadabe

Electric Body: Le corps en scéne (Musée de la Musique)

The Temporary Autonomous Zone'
Hakim Bay

VOICE: Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media
Edited by Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson and Theo Van Leeuwen

The Voice in the Machine: Building Computers That Understand Speech
Roberto Pieraccini; Foreword by Lawrence Rabiner

A Voice and Nothing More
Mladen Dolar


Christian Oyarzún Roa

Hardware Support:
Claudia González Godoy

Chi-Hua Salinas S.

Andrés Acevedo V.
Leonardo Beltrán N.


More at:

SHOUT! is a voice instrument built from a rubber respiratory mask of two ways "hacked" with a DIY voice modulator electronic circuit.