Installation, projet scientifique
The human voice is a powerful tool for expressing an infinite number of emotional and affective nuances, such as pain and passion, drunkenness and fury, fear and exaltation. Human beings have this astonishing capacity to modulate their voices at will depending on the person they are speaking to, in order to emphasise their verbal intentions and conjure up a whole palette of auditory intentions. What if this capacity had appeared in the course of human evolution as a way of charming our fellows? In 1871, Darwin put forward this seductive hypothesis in his book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:
“[…] we have every reason to suppose that articulate speech is one of the latest, as it certainly is the highest, of the arts [...] that musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male or female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex.”
But is seduction today the same as it was for our ancestors? In the age of digital communication, is speech merely an old artefact from the past? The work presented here sets out to answer this question by looking at a particularly modern form of seduction: speed dating.