This Voice, Suspended Between Us
Multichannel channel performance piece for human, post-human, and non-human voice
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"This Voice, Suspended Between Us" is a multichannel performance piece which seeks to challenge the anthropocentric narrative of the voice through an exploration of post-human & nonhuman voices, in what the artist hopes to be an exercise in detuning the ear from culturally selective understandings of the voice in order to end the silencing of those deemed heretic or non-worthy of such. Throughout the performance, the artist gradually explores the multiplicity of voices within their own voice, projecting it acoustically, amplifying it, and using it to animate, or rather, bring awareness to the animacy of nonhuman voices. Through unorthodox uses of vocoding, the artist very gradually disintegrates their own voice into those of their natural environment, sifting away semantic legibility until only affect remains.
Once this process is complete, the artist replaces their voice as the animating force to the performance with a text-to-speech recording made from an AI generated vocal clone using Lyrebird. The voice is now in the space and the artist subtracts themself from the equation.
The Voice, Suspended Between Us was premiered as part of Art Matters Festival 2019’s program The Suffocating, Impractical Desire to Name.
Art Matters Festival 2019. Loyola Chapel, Montreal. Photos courtesy of Kit Mergaert.