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GALLERY 2010/2011


Speed Dating


Description of campaign/project

The concept is to create a setting for a staged speed dating event. 10 participants at a time are invited to wear headphones to listen to the supposed inner thoughts of the "potential dates" across the table. Every 40 seconds we sit in front of someone new and take a moment to listen. While sitting across from each other the participants try to make links between what they hear, what they see and how they feel. A usual speed dating event ends with a secretive poll about who had a potential connection or match. This installation ends with a chill out space and un-moderated discussion aided through a "potential match chart."
The installation is a communication experiment that puts the ideas of speed dating on it's head. Some of the audio pieces critique messages about romantic (consumerist) love from the mainstream. Others are positive or purposefully ambiguous. The experiment in use of audio, personal listening and participative installation invites the individual to make their own conclusions about the experience and also puts the search for romantic/love connections into a new perspective.
The installation also foregrounds how artificial sound environments & creative audio tours are a potential and potent place for intervention in our consumerist culture.

The installation is hinged on the qualities of sound and broadcast that are intimate, immediate and encourage imagination and reflection.
But the installation relies on a sense of schizophonia that is endemic in the contemporary Western World's use of headphones and mobile devices to separate themselves from the original soundscape they are present within.

The main part of this event is a one way communication where participants are asked to adhere to certain rules. However, the space made for individual contemplation and critical awareness is considerable. Also there is a space at the end for participants to engage in group reflection and exchange.

The use of schizophonia by arbitrarily pairing the inner thoughts (audio) with participants highlights the dissonance and opens up a spot for individual questioning and imagination.

It is also a stealth method of jamming with culture that is very hard to know who is involved.

I think creative and/or fictional sound installations and tours that use sound rich dissonance add to our experience and exploration of consumer culture and space.

I learned from my friends at the radio station who participated in the voicing of the different thoughts. Their hesitations, nervousness and preparation to voice some of the un-true but authentic inner thoughts of speed daters influenced the final editing. I used their personalities to underscore the creative editing and consider what the words sounded like when they thought about them in their head. It reminded me of interpretation, comfort levels and feelings of dissonance went into the creation process.
I also learned some logistical timing as I practiced putting the speed date into action.


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Entry details


Speed Dating


What are you thinking?

Concept author(s)

Jess Grosman

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Author, Interviewer, Producer, Editor



Competition category


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

My work uses sound, radio and sound installation to create explicit and intimate moments to consider our relationships, female identity and sexuality, as well as the prevailing western cultural discourse about these subjects.