Overview of the two-part solo show Voice Tract / Black Hole / Vent Shaft (Part I) and Air Through Soft Solids (Part II)

Rooted as it is in the organs of respiration and phonation, speech in fact alludes to the vicissitudes of the body where the humours of the passions boil 1.  As a two-part solo show — Voice Tract / Black Hole / Vent Shaft (Part I) and Air Through Soft Solids (Part II) — devoted to the practical investigation on the constructive potentials of voice synthesis and voice manipulation, Variations on Synthetic Voice conjoins a collection of objects (sound installations, engravings, video, etc…) conceived as thought experiments focused on the investigation of vocal technologies as retro-bioengineering tactics. Both shows and their objects entertain the hypothesis, which first arose due to the 2019 piece Reggaeton or a Haptic Lecture on Pressure to the North [︎︎︎], that (a) there cannot be such a thing as a disembodied voice; in being a voice, a voice always belongs to a body, since being of a body is what makes a voice a voice, whatever that voice or body might be or entail; thus (b) a synthetic voice and/or a manipulated voice must be the symptom/performance of either a synthetic and/or a manipulated body. Even when a non-acoustical voice is at play (i.e., synthetic voice, mythical echo), a conception of body cannot discarded, as voice already entails an intertwinement of logos and body — a codependency between depth and surface. Thus, voice is both the inhabitant (agent) and product (agency) of a (w)hole.

Adriana Cavarero (2005) For More Than a Voice: Toward a Philosophy of Vocal Expression. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804749558