Being Siri

This radio essay documents my experience donating my voice to a stranger through VocaliD, a company that recruits "speech donors" to help produce personalized synthetic voices for people who need them. Using recordings from my own "voicebank" as material, I piece together a reflection on human connection—the unhappy connection we feel with our own voices, even as we scorn them, and the unlikely connections we forge by giving our voices to others.

Originally aired on UnFictional on KCRW: "You Want a Piece of Me?" Feb. 3, 2017

siri
converse

Our Time Is Up

Our Time Is Up tells the story of Jake and Helen McCleary, an elderly couple struggling to save their troubled marriage. The story unfolds across a series of audio snapshots from weekly therapy sessions, in which Jake and Helen sort through the messy details of their failing relationship. The voices of the two main actors are constructed from fragments of oral history recordings with two people who never met—my grandfather, Josiah Patton (1919-2009) and Juanita Bowman (1900-2000).

Winner of a Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award, 2016

What Hadn't Happened

In April 1934, my grandma’s sister Gloria drowned in a copper wash boiler on the family farm in northwest Minnesota. Gloria was 18 months old. My grandma, Olive, was not quite three. She was the only one there when it happened. This is the story of what happened afterward—told and retold in words, images, and voices.

"What Hadn't Happened: A Multimedia Memoir," Provocations, 2016
Grand Prize Winner in Visual Storytelling, The Atavist's Digital Storymakers Award, 2013

converse
converse

Her Husband's Wife's Pancreas

This work of experimental multimedia nonfiction tells the story of my grandparents’ fifty-year relationship—as neighbors, as friends, and as husband and wife. I designed this piece using archival images and audio cut from oral history interviews to create an imagined 'conversation between my grandparents' following their deaths.

(7:45, animated audio collage)

Published in Quarterly West, Issue 86

Coerced Confessions

In this video series, I digitally “coerce” dramatic reenactments of real-life public confessions from the bodies of unwitting actors. The videos are produced by, first, rearranging textual source material from real-life confessions into scripted fictional monologues; then, recording actors performing the monologues with no knowledge of their source; and, finally, reverse-engineering those performances back into the original confessional texts.

Selected for On the Body, National Juried Exhibition, Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA, 2016


confessions
Olive Project

The Olive Project

This project is devoted to the memory of my grandmother, Olive. It is at once her life story and not a story at all. Composed from fragments of my grandma's oral history, alongside of photos and ephemera from family archives, this proto interactive documentary invites you to piece together Olive's memory from a web of artifacts and anecdotes she left behind. "The Olive Project" represents my earliest work in multimedia storytelling. It's also the first website I ever built.

Winner of the Kairos Best Webtext Award, 2012