Vocal Performance Through Electrical Flows: Making Current Kin


  • Gretchen Jude




posthuman studies, feminist theory


What 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.

Author Biography

Gretchen Jude

Dr. Gretchen Jude, a scholar-practitioner of sound, completed her
Ph.D. in Performance Studies at the University of California, Davis,
in June 2018. Gretchen’s dissertation engaged with intersections of
voice and audio technology in Japanese experimental and popular music.

Gretchen also holds an M.F.A. in Electronic Music and Recording Media
from Mills College, as well as koto [Japanese zither] certification
from the Sawai Koto Institute in Tokyo. In both academic work and
performance research, Gretchen aims to synthesize and harmonize
personal, embodied experience with the rapid changes in culture and
machinery that both empower and impinge upon us.


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How to Cite

Jude, G. (2019). Vocal Performance Through Electrical Flows: Making Current Kin. Performance Philosophy, 4(2), 393–409. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2019.42235