BOTS AND SPAMMERS DATING CLUB – Vladimir Kryuchev – IND – Russia

subtitled video | 15 min


Synopsis

This piece creates a world populated by anonymous telephone bots and spammers whose annoying calls – in real world – have become a part of many people’s lives.

It starts as real news story based on a recent surge of such calls in Russia but it deals with a subject in some other way.

Using various recording and mixing techniques, it is possible to get those abstract bots talking to each other, falling in love, dealing with real-life issues and even rap.

Produced by

Vladimir Kryuchev


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12 thoughts on “BOTS AND SPAMMERS DATING CLUB – Vladimir Kryuchev – IND – Russia

  1. OPENING STATEMENT

    “Never pronounce the word YES when on the phone with someone you do not know”
    This topic obviously occupied parts of the Russian media last year.
    The fear was that somebody could misuse the voice print for bank fraud or similar criminal activities.
    A criminal correspondent delivers facts later in the story.
    Could robots steal our life?
    This question was raised by Vladimir Kryuchev with a twinkle in the eye.
    And that is where his story of bots and spammers begins.
    “Spammers seem to be terribly lonely”- that is the hypothesis of the author.
    There are simple reasons for that: a spammer can call you any time and there is no sound at all in the background, only silence between words.
    What kind of story did you expect after this opening?

    The author is guiding the listener from the world of scary rumors into the poor cosmos of robots.
    Using generic phrases the author demonstrates the possible content of the robocalls.
    What do you think about the narrator and his role?

    Should we not create lives for robots and spammers?
    The author suggests helping out with sound editing software and creating dialogues out of their phrases.
    (If the most frequent spam calls come from health care centers, the topics of conversation may be limited)
    What do you think about this idea and the model of conversation?
    And how was the acoustic realization of the idea?

    “They first met in a swimming pool”
    This is the beginning of a love story between two fictional characters which will end up in the city of spam.
    Does this story just entertain or also open up a further perspective in connection with bots and spammers?

  2. What a refreshing piece to listen to! It´s so playful and cheering with so many ideas and surprising moments squeezed into less than 15 minutes. Thank you for making my day brighter, Vladimir!

    And thanks to Silvia for provoking thinking about the piece even more. The truth is, that in first seconds I was intrigued into an idea of experiencing a communication with no “yes” and its consequences. But I don´t consider this introduction as a false promise at all. Author himself says: “This kind of stories makes us feel that some robocaller could steal our lives. (…) And isn´t it us who should be constructing their lives – for them?” The idea of risky “yes” is smoothly and cleverly developing throughout the story. I admire the structure of it.

    The audio is very entertaining, yet ending leaves us with a space for thinking about concepts in which not only bots or relationships might be imprisoned.

    Vladimir, is there any database of voice bots that you got access to? Could you please tell us more about how did you find the sounds you worked with?

    1. Hi Martina, thank you so much for you kind words!

      Actually, there’s no such a database, they just call you when you least expect them, that’s it ) All those voices were hand-picked and sometimes I even called them first to get my number into their databases – a sacrifice to get more spam calls in future and more material for the dialogues.

      Apart from that, I recorded ambiances – like a swimming pool or a car – some time earlier, without knowing when and why I may need it 🙂

  3. Ha, what a witty little gem of radio art, congrats Vladimir, very creative and surprising! I felt a bit hung in the air at the end, would have loved to be rewarded for listening with some philosophical food-for-thought. Since this is now delivered so early in the program (“spammers stealing our lives” etc.), it loses its impact – maybe if you just switched it around? Also, sorry, but “Indians were afraid that photos stole their souls” taps into the “primitive indians” trope and seems a bit problematic.

    1. Hi Jakob,

      Thank you for you suggestion to have a more philosophical ending, I will think about it next time.

      As to the so called ‘primitive Indians’ thing, I’m really grateful to you for the opportunity to clear the issue up. It depends on the way one sees it – I want to assure you that it has been done with due respect. Experiencing fear when facing something new isn’t a sign of being ‘primitive’, it’s a sign of being human, and isn’t something to be ashamed of. Actually, it makes us, people of this planet, who we are, and I hardly could call it a trope.

  4. Thank you for the humoristic imaginary love/life story of two spammers. This is a creative and thinking-provoking piece. It was interesting to listen to.

  5. I also thank you for this piece. I was fascinated by the idea of bringing spammers to life. It is a serious topic which is presented lightly and humorously.

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