In this prototype I will investigate three techniques of detaching the voice from the body through a queer lens. Specifically focusing on Voiceover, Subtitles and Lip Syncing; I will utilise the operation of ambivalence within the writing of text and performative delivery to expose the void, the gap, the ‘no man’s land’ created when the voice is detached from the body and then theatrically re-layered. The operation of ambivalence is created through ambiguity which fused with my autobiography, creates a queer point of view within this performative prototype.
It was important that the audience knew what my voice sounded like attached to my body, in order to experiment with detaching it. In the performance I ‘give’ my voice to the box. Then move as a lone body now voiceless.
During the making of this prototype, I made a comparison to voice/body detachment and detachment of queerness from societal ‘norms’. When pressed to define societal norms, I merely defined norms of capitalism. This questioning around detachment and queerness became the catalyst for the subtitled text, leading to the realisation that queerness and detachment from my creative perspective is rooted in the operation of ambivalence.
I lip synced to the song ‘Boys & Girls’ by Blur. To further highlight the detachment of voice from body in lip syncing and it subsequent theatrical re-embodiment, I also attempt to lip-sync to a video of my own face reading the text. I then show footage of myself lip-syncing to ‘Disco 2000’ by Pulp whilst my head is inside the box that I detached my voice from at the beginning of the prototype performance.
This Prototype has helped discover what I find interesting within voice/body detachment.
I aim to start mapping out the vast field between Voiceover, Subtitles and Lip Syncing in order to discover if there are more techniques of body/voice detachment and whether these techniques could further develop research.
I aim to further look into Lip Syncing’s relationship with queer embodiment using Judith Butler’s performativity theory as a starting point.
I aim to dig deeper into the operation of ambivalence; its relationship to queer theory and its relationship to voice/body detachment.
Brexit, Divorce, Britpop, Capitalism, ‘New Shapes’ by Charlie XCX, Queerness, decapitation, loneliness, Ambivalence, Aloofness, Ambiguity, Consciousness, Embodiment.
TEXT AS APPEARS IN PERFORMANCE
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello
How’re you? How’re you? How’re You?
I’m alright, I’m alright yeah I’m alright thanks.
yeah I’m good, yeah
It’s a bit like that bit where there’s like no connection
Or there’s a disconnect
Or like the WIFI has just suddenly
You know when the WIFI just cuts out
Now we’re back on
We’re cooking on gas, we’re there.
(Ryan walks away from the box but his voice continues)
There was once was this man, this boy
And he went swimming in a harbour
And another person saw him,
saw him swimming
saw his little head floating, bobbing in the water
and thought this would be great to direct ships
so the boy became a buoy
And the buoy was invented.
And I always think about that every time I see a buoy
I think about the body, the body underneath.
(Flashing) Norm 1: A job
Steady, good money, a career path, stability, Beers on Friday
Norm 2: A partner
Norm 3: Mortgage
Norm 4: I do
A nice ceremony, a lovely spread
Norm 5: Birth
Norm 6: Death
A nice ceremony, a lovely spread
And I now pronounce Brian and Deborah man and wife
I baptise thee exPat, daughter of Brian and Deborah
Ashes to Ashes
They remember that time when Brian went swimming in the harbour on the south English coast
And he got caught in a rip-tide,
And You could just see his little head bobbing up and down in the water,
And he was fine… in the end
Capitalism is not the antithesis of queerness
Queerness is much more…
There is an ambivalence at play
That covers a vast ocean of sexual identity
and being an artist
The ocean, the dancefloor, and I
We are the core of queerness
I don't know why I got a tendency to run away
Don't know why I'm always pushing for a sweet escape
Even though I feel so close
I just can't control how I feel
And I gotta be free
Need to breathe
But sometimes I need
We could fall in love in new shapes
VOICEOVER (LIP SYNCED BY RYAN):
And recently I’ve been thinking about Britpop
And housing and loneliness and why
and feeling like I exist in two separate worlds
And this nostalgic optimism of Britain in the 90’s
and every morning I eat two chocolate croissants from Albert Hein
And maybe it’s just November But I’m feeling cold and out of sorts
And I’d like it all to change
And love in the 90’s, It’s paradise, is paranoid
And now there is this pessimistic nationalism
And then there is this separation going on, this divorce, this detachment
And I’m really painting a white horse white now
As my friend Danny would tell me
Or painting a white horse, red and blue
And it feels impossible now I’m semi- detached from it
And we shouldn’t laugh, as it’s fucking dangerous
And it’ll only encourage him
But we can’t help laugh at the absurdity
And I should be enraged at such hollow metaphors
And that’s all I’m doing is displaying empty metaphors
And I keep scrolling through Grindr and Instagram
And the heart symbol is stitched into every thread of code
But just the outline
And I heart peoples selfies and nudes and comments
And I’m sad, drained and a little bit empty but of course I have to remain,
And I plug in my headphones
And I let Damon and Jarvis remind me
And I think I’ve become detached from what I set out to do here,
And I must mention the norms,
And the hetro’s
And how I think I sit outside of their world
But I know that I don’t.
And I think about how awful it must be to be heteronormative
And the more I question it, the more lost I become
And I feel like I’m performing it,
Like it’s a performance
But I like performing,
And I know the future,
And I know that the future is queer and I’ve got a semi.
Irina Baldini, Antti Uimonen, Danielle Gallia-Kind, Steef Kersbergen, Mike Witjes, João da Silva