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Updated: Jun 27, 2022
www.newart.city [co-ordinates x -92, y -12, z -449]
The materiality of the breath and voice—where in Voicing is a space of listening?
voice [a] bod[y]ies / thought / object (organism[s] of perpetual tension[s]
Before we speak or utter any sound that another hears, we are with sound through our skin, vibrations of indeterminable origin. Amongst this, arguably, are our first encounters with the voice, which is an acousmatic one. Voice unites language and the human body; it carries meaning regardless of our ability to understand.
Like machines, we have a framework that does not intrinsically understand or speak a language. How do we inhabit the worlds, realities, and meanings we create with language? I see potential in machines that may enable us to see the fallibility in what we think we know about ourselves.
Initial concept and development
This piece considers how being is spoken and shaped and constructed with language. In the piece Y, Z, a torus persists in futile attempts to move, and manoeuvre past its x,y,z coordinates, rotating in a perpetual loop. How can language(s) be pushed to its edge(s) to find (an)other way(s) to think.
Can such topological, digital mathematical structures like this torus become [an]other body(ies) elsewhere multiple? Is their construction an affective reach through a sonic connection, a sonic embodied reaching, a reaching with?
A recurrent neural network, PRiSM SampleRNN from the Royal Northern College of Music*, was trained on a data set of the artist reciting the Latin/Roman alphabet. I am working with a recurrent neural network designed and programmed to work with music. I wanted to see how the RNN would handle sonic material speaking, a system used to construct meaning through language. With the RNN generated synthesised material, an ambisonics composition was output to binaural, hence the need for headphones and then used to audio activate a manifold, a torus.
I was interested in seeing how it would be processed. Surprisingly, it organised itself to recite the alphabet very quickly. Curiously, it liked the letter Y and omitted the letter N.
Binaural audio-activated torus. Two-minute version.
What is a voice? Who gives voice?
The dilemma of these synthesised sounds is they sound like a voice, and perhaps without context, they become voice? However, regardless of the origin, is it not a voice in listening to it as the voice?
Voice and thought
"the voice as the lever of thought, as one of the paramount embodiments of the psychoanalytic object." Mladen Dollar
What happens when we speak, listen, and perhaps most importantly, what happens to what we can’t say. The voice and language bring with them to us the history and being of another.
We hear our first sounds, the first voice(s) in the womb, acousmatic and without signifier or referent.
It would seem the first encounters we as living beings have with language and voice is fetal, wherein these first sounds without referent, matter meeting matter.
The voice we develop is never ours alone. It is never one.
Can machines sound the seeking of the unsayable?
Technologies potential to listen anew to ourselves and not simply reinforce feedback loops.
Topology, Assets, neighbourhoods,
More extended version 6 minutes 27 seconds