by Matty Sallin with David Herman
WHAT: ChitChat is an installation that projects a speech bubble above your head as you talk. The bubble swells with the text “blah bu blah blah” as you continue to talk. The output text reflects your volume by changing size. Textual attributes such as bold text and italic text also shift to reflect voice pitch. If you or friend remains silent, they will eventually get a corresponding thought bubble.
WHY: In social situations where you mix with people you don’t know well, most of us scramble to find topics of common interest (“nice weather, eh?”). This is small talk, and there are varying degrees of focus and relevance, but often both parties are aware that the dialogue is forced and this prevents it from gaining depth. I wanted to make this humorously explicit with the assumption that everything said at this installation is small talk.