SpokenWeb 2023 Institute

Thu, May 4, 2023 - Fri, May 5, 2023

Following the SpokenWeb 2023 Symposium, SpokenWeb Network members are invited to take part in the SpokenWeb 2023 Institute, a two-day series of workshops and training activities designed in collaboration with the University of Alberta's Sound Studies Institute.

Click here to return to the Symposium main page, which where you will find additional info about travel, accommodations, and programming.


The SpokenWeb 2023 Institute is hosted by the Digital Scholarship Centre, which is located on the second floor of the Cameron Science & Technology Library on the North Campus of the University of Alberta.

Find your way around campus using UAlberta's campus map, which includes descriptions of and directions to all of our buildings and facilities.

Address: Digital Scholarship Centre, Saskatchewan Drive Northwest, Edmonton, AB, Canada


Thursday, May 4

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM MDT

Welcome and Introduction

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM MDT

Artificial Voices

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM MDT


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM MDT

Sound Braiding

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MDT


1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MDT

Pulse, Dissipate, Disrupt: A Polyphonic Poetry Workshop

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM MDT


3:00 PM - 4:15 PM MDT

Sonic Innovations: The SpokenWeb Digital Anthology

4:15 PM - 4:30 PM MDT


4:30 PM - 5:45 PM MDT

Untamed Melodies x Birding By Ear

Thursday, May 4

Chair: Geoffrey Rockwell

  • Panelists: Yelena Gluzman (University of Alberta), Ben Tucker (University of Alberta)

Join artists and scholars Yelena Gluzman and Ben Tucker for a panel discussion on artificial voices, focusing on how and why text to speech technologies are generated. The session will start with a screening of STS scholar Yelena Gluzman's short film Invisible Machines which is about captioners, mediation and transforming talk to text. Gluzman's film will be followed by a presentation by Ben Tucker about Alberta Phoentic's Laboratory's project to develop talk to text models for South African English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, Xhosa and Malagasy. Finally, Marilene Oliver will present the project Your Data Body which used a range of open access text to speech models to generate voices for anonymous datasets as part of a virtual reality artwork.

  • Instructors: Luisa Isidro Herrera, Nicole Marchesseau, and Johann Sander Puustusmaa (York U)

Sound Braid (https://www.soundbraid.org/) is an emergent web platform committed to exploring incommensurable spaces rooted in captured and ongoing sonic experiences that are at least somewhat remote from expressions of human language or music. Braid collaborators—others interested in exploring sonic worlding from diverse perspectives—will be invited to react with previous posters as moments of sound hosted on the braid plait with possible emanations. 

In contrast to the shock and urgency of much of today’s digital life, by opening a gradually self-formulating and non-predictive space, Sound Braid will provide room for thoughtful listening, contemplation, and inquiry into what sound is doing. Participants will be introduced to the Sound Braid platform, and then will be invited to collectively workshop a sonic thread response—or numerous responses—to an existing thread/s. 

The workshop will involve a 15-minute introduction, 30 minutes of practical workshopping and 30 minutes of discussion based on the practical component of the workshop (handheld recording devices or phones can be useful for the practical activity, but are not a requirement).

This is a hybrid session with an option to participate either in-person or online.

  • Instructor: Kerry Priest (Independent artist)

Polyphonic poetry is a hybrid form of poetry for many voices. Developed by Kerry Priest, her work on multi-voice poetics recently won a commendation from the National Centre for Writing and the UEA in their New Forms award.

The essence of this new form is polyphony, an ancient and indeed global style of music which treats each voice as an equal. This communality allows for the introduction of competing and complementary narratives; multiple authors, diverse communities, and the representation of the non-human, through a sort of poetry 'dawn chorus'. On a practical level, it allows for the deployment of visual scores, aleatoric techniques and various sorts of improvisation - of text, sound, character, and movement.

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to polyphonic works and given the chance to join in with a couple of group exercises, creating soundscapes according to artistic-conceptual constraints.

Kerry Priest's work has appeared at the Minack Theatre and on radio stations across Europe on the Radia.FM network, especially Soundart Radio who host a Dartington Radiophonic show.

Chair: Zoe Bursztajn-Illingworth (U Texas at Austin)

  • Panelists: Trent J Wintermeier (U Texas at Austin); Zachary Morrison (U Alberta); Miranda Eastwood (Concordia) and Matt Kilbane (Notre Dame); Rachel Pickard (UBCO)

The SpokenWeb Digital Anthology brings together literary recordings held by SpokenWeb partner institutions and annotated by researchers in the consortium. The anthology will utilize the AudiAnnotate Audiovisual Extensible Workflow (AWE), a cutting-edge workflow and platform for sharing and curating annotations of audiovisual collections created by Dr. Tanya Clement (UT Austin) and Brumfield Labs. By creating the SpokenWeb Digital Anthology through AWE, we demonstrate the anthology form’s capaciousness beyond print culture as it becomes a collaborative and participatory mode of presenting and interacting with recorded artifacts.

This panel will showcase contributions to the SpokenWeb Digital Anthology with participating researchers contextualizing their recordings and annotations historically and culturally and reflecting on digital annotation as an emergent scholarly and archival practice. As a group, we will also discuss the process of creating the anthology and the questions that arose when thinking through the anthology form’s relationship to old and new media.

  • Panelists: Mallory Chipman (Independent artist), Yvonne Mullock (Independent artist), John Acorn (U Alberta)

Join artists, researchers, and educators Yvonne Mullock, Mallory Chipman, and John Acorn for a panel discussion on thinking creatively about art practice at the intersection of bioacoustics, zoomusicology, sonic ecology, and research-creation. This conversation is situated within a broader discussion about how activities within the sciences and the humanities can inform and complement each other and produce multivalent projects which engage communities across disciplinary boundaries.


The SpokenWeb 2023 Symposium-Institute is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.