Preliminary Schematics for an Exhibit on the Corporeal Voice

(1) What is the relationship amongst the voice and the body or the image? On the one hand, there seems to be a disjuncture between voice and body, or voice and image. The anxiety that pious people often feel by this voice without image can be found in Exodus 19:16-19:

16. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

17. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

18. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

19. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

We know this in our personal experience as well. When we speak on the phone, we can not help but wonder what the person at the other end of the line looks like – and, truth be told, we may very well be surprised to find out that he or she is not how we expected. This is a lesson learned by those who have obtain sexual pleasure through telephone sex – is the person at the other end of the line really a “Sexy Woman”? No doubt, some people can only “get off” when the voice is isolated from the image of the body by means of a telephone or by simply closing the lids of the eyes.

The first exhibit shall present images of people speaking. And their voice will be recorded and played back, looped. It will be separated from the image to accelerate the disjunction.

(2) Anxiety can also be provoked simply by demonstrating that the voice is an organ of the body – the voice is an image. Those who “get off” on this are no doubt sound engineers who, to manipulate the voice, must visualize it as a wave-form. What if the voice is retained by the body? What if it has a function just like the balloon-like organs (e.g., the lungs or the bladder)? The second exhibit shall fix a balloon (filled with air) to the mouth of a speaking being.


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