Meeting the Machine in the Middle

A conversation between two, mediated by computer keyboards, artificial voices and digital monitors.

Video Installation, 2019

Carrie Sijia Wang & Tong Wu

Special thanks to: Gabriel Barcia-Colombo

“Meeting the Machine in the Middle” is a performative-experiment-turned-video-installation. The experiment, in the form of a two-person conversation, follows a set of simple rules:


  • Input what you want to say into your laptop.
  • Let your digital voice speak for you (Tong and I created our artificial voices with lyrebird).
  • No eye contact. No personal information.
  • Look into the camera unless you are inputting content on your laptop.
  • Do not laugh. Let your digital voice laugh for you.


The experience is more or less alienating. Though sitting side by side, the two participants (Tong and I) are separated by invisible boundaries—the forced digital communication, and the prolonged response time. The video installation further separates the two in conversation, adding a third layer of division by placing the two faces onto different screens.