(Maastricht / Bassin 116)
Adam Leech (1973) is interested in the psychological dynamic related to financial failure in enterprises and institutions. Leech examined the bankruptcy of the Belgian high-tech speech recognition company Lernout & Hauspie. Lernout & Hauspie was a modern, visionary company where money, techno-utopias, and the cult of the entrepreneurial spirit were used to create a “marketing bubble”. As happened to many other multinationals, the bubble burst around the time of the millennium. The video Speech Bubble shows a short dialogue between an unemployed sales associate and his beloved, a mysterious female client, who remains off-screen. The sales associate is visible and is still full of self-confidence. His vocabulary, facial expressions and body language are directly copied from the manual “how to be a sales associate”. Leech did not write the dialogue as a conversation, but as a song text full of rhythmic repetitions, rhyming words and vocals. The duet that the ‘salesman’ and his beloved perform also refers to the speech (recognition) computer, which is reinforced by the female voice, which reminds one of a futuristic product of artificial intelligence.
Also by Adam Leech, the piece Introduction to Neuropsychology is included in Paraphrasing Babel, Bongerd 9 and Dr. Poelstraat 29.