The Whole Truth

The trigger for the audio documentary The Whole Truth is the current application of voice analysis as a lie detection method recently piloted by European, Russian and Israeli governments as well as being employed in border agencies and insurance companies all over the world. This technology uses the voice as a kind of stethoscope, an instrument to measure internal bodily responses to stress and tension; a material channel that allows the law’s listening to bypass speech and delve deeper into the body of its subjects.

The documentary, which experiments with the conventions of radio, consists of a collection of interviews with software developers, anthropologists and entrepreneurs of the biometric industry, from the Netherlands, USA and elsewhere. To the listeners, it offers a fresh look into how truth is constituted, to whom truth matters and who can use it; it complicates the current conventions of testimony and its relationship to trauma, free speech, technology and the body.

The Whole Truth is part of an audio documentary trilogy dedicated to understanding the changing role of Testimony in the face of new immigration policies, technologies of artificial intelligence and medical sciences. The Whole Truth is commission by Casco Utrecht 2012, and a part of Word. Sound. Power at Tate Modern 2013.