Re: [-empyre-] Alan's post: voices, gender and other matters

What's fascinating about the voice is the relative phenomenology it
engenders. I've written about this primarily in relationship to Vito
Acconci's early work - the voice is almost always internalized in
the listener, since the directional aspects are relatively fuzzy, and
the mapping of voice onto landscape is problematic. Voice through
stereo or binaural is internalized; beat frequencies and resonances
in a room map the architecture in unexpected ways. You can even use
wolf notes on a violin to map its internal structure.

The voice almost always seems to come from within, even in the form
of a call - the langscape liquidifies around it.

There are also issues of maternality, I think, at work here - which
is why the female voice has been so focused upon perhaps. I think
of Kristeva's chora with its ruptured vocalization, stutterings,
etc. - In any case, the voice tends to bend the image - it extends
outwards from it. Even with a single screen, the voice is messy -
there may be multiple speakers, the voice floods out from them, and
stereo or multi-channel presentations also tear the voice from the
image which, at least at its origin, is either circular or recti-
linear (spotlight or frame/screen).

In general I tend to think of sound as 'second-person,' partly
internalized, partly external - and the visual register as primarily
third-person - 'out there,' defined. From this, we might also
think of heat/touch as first/person, sensed on or within the body -

- Alan
Trace projects

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