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Thesis outline

3d draft/ 9 November


The embodied voice [the sound of the voice, the physical presence of the speaker] carries many important elements of the persons that it comes from. Those qualities can’t being transferred so clearly with the visual or writing mediums. I believe that it is worthwhile to keep or being aware of these qualities even now that our communication is mostly mediated. It is worthwhile because it can propose/highlight other ways of publicness that can include the body [representing/communicating ourselves as individuals or communities in public spaces and platforms on ways that are not only driven by state or commercial intentions. In different regions people understand their [vocal] presence in public very differently. For example, small everyday gatherings of gossiping in the squares, loud microphonic demonstrations, self-organised radio podcasts in internet, bottom-up made radio stations]. “The electronic age is also an age of 'secondary orality', the orality of telephones, radio, and television, which depends on writing and print for its existence” (Ong, pg.3).


The detachment of the voice from the speaker while being mediated in spaces and platforms.


The embodied voice is being appropriated/mediated by communication systems [radio, telephone, whatsapp, skype] and tools [speech analysis, speech recognition] many times for commercial and state purposes. By embodied I mean the condition of the body/person and not only the communicative elements of the language. Through this process of mediation, elements of the voice and the person [identity, nationality, gender, bodied gestures and processes] are lost or distorted and this can affect decisions regarding that body/person [for example, speech analysis software is checking the voice of refugees to verify claims of their origin and many times can get wrong]. What is lost from this disembodiment/detachment and what can be traced by the situation/body of that person? How can we be aware of that? What practices can awaken that awareness?

Structure of the text

The text can take the form of radio show, song, theatre play, script, python script, structure of phonetic rules (ref: "Speech for the stage"), structure of pocketsphinx (tool for speech recognition), audio book (uploaded in XPPL:)), a feminist manifesto. The purpose is to find other ways to talk about a topic in an academic context. It is my intention the structure of the text to talk also about the topic (ref: Amy's ref).
Documenting my project:
What forms of presentation are appropriate for this practice? I want to build a way for that. My project proposes a range of possibilities and parallel processes (live action, happening at the same time or with delay). "since the arts are grounded in the material structure of society, artists must revolutionize the means by which their work is produced and distributed. One way this can be accomplished is for authors to be involved in publishing"(O'Rourke, pg.xiii)


First topic

Since the beginning of the human culture the auditory experiences were important for communication and sharing of knowledge. The sound of voice has a strong impact on the people and the spaces where is projected. It is very related to sharing and participating on real/present time.

Point A: the impact of voice on subjectivities and places

  1. The importance of voice in the creation of an agonistic arena of communication. The engagement of the body and the audience.
  2. The strong impact of voice in awakening the awareness in the present. The oral memorization functions in the present including activities of the body.

Point B: the voice represents its speaker in another time or place. The ‘secondary orality’. “At the same time, with telephone, radio, television and various kinds of sound tape, electronic technology has brought us into the age of 'secondary orality'.” (Ong, pg.13)

  1. The mediation of the voice as detachment of the speaker. “the mediating role of all kinds of media that detach voice from its physical proprietor and enable its circulation in places and contexts in which physical bodies may not have access. (Panopoulos)

Second topic

The technologies/media/tools/practices that relate the embodied and the distant voice enhance the presence of the person carrying it or turns against her/him. The effects of telepresence.

Point A: communication systems as mediums to spread the voice

  1. Parallel or multiple presences in other places. “Radio and television have brought major political figures as public speakers to a larger public than was ever possible before modern electronic developments. Thus in a sense orality has come into its own more than ever before.” (Ong, pg. 135). Describing further with examples of media [radio, telephone, Skype, voice messages] that spread the voice in private or public spheres. Being here now and elsewhere. "Heidegger, in Being and Time and elsewhere,", "To the extent that it always relates us to the absent other, the telephone"(Telephone Book, Ronell)
  2. Deliberating communicative processes through the voice/ activating communal activities. “This new orality has striking resemblances to the old in its participatory mystique, its fostering of a communal sense, its concentration on the present moment, and even its use of formulas (...) But it is essentially a more deliberate and self-conscious orality, based permanently on the use of writing and print, which are essential for the manufacture and operation of the equipment and for its use as well” (Ong. pg.13). Gossiping as a way to establish alternative communication

Point B: Tools receiving voice samples for training machines [personal assistants, speech recognition tools] or gathering data for control policies.

  1. The new era of tools gathering voice samples for developing a mechanised voice [the mechanical ‘other’]. For example, speech recognition software like Siri are trained from real audio samples from people speaking. The samples are parts of telephone conversations, broadcast conversations, microphone talks and other samples in which people offer their voice for training it.
  2. How is the detachment of the voice in that case. What types of publicness/communal activities it creates.
  3. The labor or manipulation of data behind that. Sometimes it is visible and under the principles of open source movement, some other times it is exploited by the companies and the state.
Third topic

The voice is invisible, but can exist in multiple spaces at the same time and can affect them differently. How can we be aware of the process?

Point A: Traces of presence. Action on present/ triggering/activating places. How we realize this mediation of the voice as a way to relate to the estranged places and platforms that have being manipulated by nations and companies [estranged= 1. To make hostile, unsympathetic, or indifferent; 2. To remove from an accustomed place or set of associations].

Point B: examples of practices that relate the voice with the presence of the speaker in a space

  1. Artists that use walking practices and relate it to the voice. Re-establishing facts of one place in another time.
  2. Radio pirates/amateurs and antennas. Reaching the invisible other or being that invisible other. Practices of establishing multiple ways of spreading the voice in different spaces. The activation of those spaces as public forums. Listening to ‘invisible’ subjectivities.
  3. Appropriating personal assistants, speech recognition tools



  • 14/10/2018
  • 1st draft/18 October
  • 2nd draft/ 1 November
  • 16/11/18