media, information, the contemporary

Closing Celebration: Thao Phan and Suvani Suri performance lectures

Join us for the Closing Celebration of ACCA’s Data Relations Summer School featuring performance lectures Loops, Echoes, Phonophanies, and other Détournments by Suvani Suri and Listening to Misrecognition by Thao Phan with respondents Aasma Tulika, Uzma Falak, Shareeka Helaluddin, Mehak Sawhney. The ACCA bar and exhibition will remain open throughout this event.

Performance lecture: Suvani Suri, Loops, Echoes, Phonophanies, and other Détournnaments with respondents Aasma Tulika, Uzma Falak, Shareeka Helaluddin, Mehak Sawhney

A drift that begins with the attempts to tune into the inaudible recordings of the Linguistic Survey of India archives, producing short circuits in the process. The slow rummaging opens up into ways of listening to co-relationalities, within the archival crackles, echoic memories, archaeological artefacts, earwitness testimonies, computational instructions, and cultural data sets moored in South Asian contexts.

Performance lecture: Thao Phan, Listening to Misrecognition

What is the sound of racialisation? How might we listen to misrecognition? What does machine error tell us about the precision of racism? And how can the tools of a racist system be used to transcribe new forms of resistance?

This experimental presentation is a collaboration between feminist technoscience researcher Thao Phan and Machine Listening, an ongoing investigation and experiment in collective learning, instigated by artist Sean Dockray, legal scholar James Parker, and researcher, curator and artist Joel Stern.

Part lecture and part performance, this event brings together critical work on race and algorithmic culture with new techniques for dissecting and analysing automatic speech recognition, applied to personal and public archives drawn from Thao’s life and research. It features a discussion and demonstration of the Word Processor tool, developed in 2021 by the Machine Listening team and Reduct, a US-based tech company co-founded by the artist Robert Ochschorn.


Suvani Suri is an artist and researcher currently based in Delhi, India. She works with sound and intermedia assemblages and has been exploring various modes of transmission such as podcasts, auditory texts, sonic environments, maps, objects, installations, workshops and live interventions. Actively engaged in thinking through the techno-political processes that listening is embedded in, her curiosity about the spectral qualities of sound lends itself to the uncanny acoustic constructions, often found in her work. She is drawn towards generating chronicles of absurd sonic instances while recomposing the concepts, histories, fictions, myths, sensations and intensities that the aural carries and reveals.

Dr Thao Phan is a Research Fellow at the Monash University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S). Thao Phan is a feminist technoscience researcher who specialises in the study of gender and race in algorithmic culture.

She has researched and published on topics including: the aesthetics of digital voice assistants like Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Home; ideologies of ‘post-race’ in algorithmic culture; and AI in popular culture.

Read more about the exhibition here.

Data Relations Summer School is curated by ACCA in collaboration with RMIT Research Fellow Joel Stern and presented with the support of The Ian Potter Foundation, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S), RMIT School of Media and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australian Research Council (ARC), Capture All with Liquid Architecture x Sarai, ACMI and UNSW Sydney.