[Sept 14 – Oct 27] I Hear You by Irene Mamiye

I Hear You is an interactive installation in which viewers speak into a microphone. As they do so, their conversations are processed using a custom speech-to-text algorithm developed. Key terms are input as queries into an image bank like Google Images, Getty Images, or Instagram; the resulting images are displayed, creating a tapestry of imagery that is equal parts poetic and sinister.

DURATION: Weekends on Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Mondays from, September 14th to Sunday, October 27th 2019

Time: 11 am – 5 pm
LOCATION: Building 10a, Nolan Park, Governors island

In 2018, I began developing a project through a residency at Harvestworks titled I Hear You. This piece is an immersive environment in which viewers are subject to audio surveillance. Their conversations are recorded, and then processed using a speech-to-text algorithm developed in Python. From there, key terms uttered by viewers are input as queries into various image search engines, such as Getty Images, Google Images, and Instagram; the resulting images are projected onto the walls of the gallery space in real time using Max.

The hidden microphones record and translate public conversations into a mosaic that is both fantastic and sinister. The spontaneity of vocal recognition becomes poetic and unpredictable once translated into visual material culled from the Internet. The images are not static; they constitute an ecological tapestry as they flicker in and out of existence, overlap each other, move, and interact. Here, the practice of audio surveillance is re-contextualized within the immersive gallery setting.

I Hear You is the culmination of my longstanding engagement with digital culture, image aggregates, and photography. In the past, I’ve instrumentalized large quantities of sourced imagery to create densely-populated collages, 3D animations, and virtual reality environments.  There’s always a push-and-pull between myself and the network; although I meticulously arrange the pieces myself, the aggregate has significant sway over which images I encounter. In I Hear You, I invite audience members into this bizarre climate of collaboration. 


Irene Mamiye (b. Marseille, France) is a New York based artist. Her works have been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Selected group exhibitions include: Ebb and Flow at Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art, New York (2013); The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography at the Aperture Foundation, New York (2013); Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2014); Photography is Magic curated by Charlotte Cotton at the Aperture Foundation, New York (2016); Text Messages at Lanoue Gallery, Boston (2018); # curated by Markus Linnenbrink at Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York (2018). Her most recent solo exhibition, Irene Mamiye: Homage was held at Lanoue Gallery, Boston in 2018. Irene received her MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media in 2014 from the School of Visual Arts and was a MORPHOS Artist in Residence (2018) and a Transart Academy fellow (2019). She has been selected to participate in Penumbra Foundation’s Workspace Residency program in the Fall of 2019.

Hailing from New Delhi, India, Assistant Aseem Suri earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and worked as a management consultant for Boston Consulting Group before turning his attention to the art world. He gained admission into Berklee College of Music and majored in Electronic Production and Design, and Professional Music, with a minor in creative writing. Fusing these disciplines of learning, his work is geared as social commentary manifested by the synthesis of art and science, affect and intent.

“In order to understand the times we move in, we need to grasp the basis of what built this contemporary moment and focus on the culture and mass media. This is why Irene Mamiye explores the works of other artists with their unique relation to reality. Through them, she reconstructs a new now of images that raise issues of ethics, especially in a society such as the American, so strongly attached to the idea of authorship. “

(Arte al Limite)

“Irene Mamiye’s large, visually complex and layered works draw from photography, sculpture, video and new media. Her work is completely created from imagery found online – digital archives and across social media – and utilizes software programs as physical tools to explore the “changing relationship between artistic process and output.” Digital software tools become her brushes to distort and fragment as do the algorithms themselves within her making of images. During her residency, Irene will expand her practice through delving into the alternative processes and workshops offered at Penumbra. as a way to “look back” and situate her practice within a historical context of photography and materials.”

(Yamini Nayar for Penumbra Foundation)

Illusions and angles are Irene Mamiye’s superpower as she dissects the relationship between America and love.

(Boston Hassle)


Instagram: @irenemamiye


Sasha Leshner, Aseem Suri, Hector Llanquin, Vijay Masharani




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