Vocal Performance Through Electrical Flows: Making Current Kin
Keywords:posthuman studies, feminist theory
AbstractWhat do we hear in a human voice that vibrates through electrical flows? In this paper I argue for listening (and vocalizing) beyond the human in performances with audio media. I propose understanding such performance practice as engaging with what I call plasmatic voice, a phenomenon distinct from the merely additive, prosthetic conception of voice + electricity. Instead, plasmatic voice functions as instances of queer assemblage stretching to reach the radically Other that constitutes ourselves—facilitating the sense of what Alaimo (2010) terms transcorporeality, an understanding of human embodiment as “intermeshed with the more-than-human world” (2). The vibrations of plasmatic voice—as an example of Eidsheim’s (2015) intermaterial vibrational practice—loosen (post)human social constructs of race and gender and reverberate with nonhuman ecosystems, as I illustrate through analysis of musical examples.
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