Johanna Linsley will be presenting DOCUMENTING VOICE, REPRODUCING AUTHENTICITY at the inaugural symposium for the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies will be held at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, London, on Saturday 21st September 2013.


From the battle to displace the phenomenological/ontological primacy of the visual (e.g. Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘anti-ocular turn’) to attempts in psychoanlysis to redirect Lacan’s gaze (e.g. Bracha Ettinger or Mladen Dolar), the voice is a fresh field for re-thinking both being and experience, and developing new political responses.  Key to much of this philosophical work on the voice are questions of authenticity and singularity – for instance, Adriana Cavarero’s uniqueness of vocal expression which is also necessarily a complex being-in-communion with others.

This paper suggests that the voice as a tool for thinking about authenticity and singularity might be useful for work in performance studies around documentation and the traces of performance. Works like Rebecca Schneider’s Performing Remains show how performance is neither a stable, enduring object nor a neatly vanishing event, but rather remains in complex and ever-shifting modes.  Performance documentation is thus a volatile and significant place for questioning authoritative histories and destabilizing fixed identities and hierarchies of knowledge. In this paper, I argue that the remains of the voice are particularly tricky and valuable materials for this work.

This paper focuses specifically on the video and performance work of ASM Kobayashi, a young New York-based artist. Her work uses found documents to restage both intimate and banal encounters between ‘real’ people. Drawing particularly on her extensive collection of audio tapes found in secondhand answering machines, Kobayashi’s work pairs the seemingly ‘authentic’ voices of strangers with elaborately acted-out visual re-enactments. In so doing, Kobayashi reveals both the fluidity of singular identity, and the labour that goes into the reverberation of authenticity.

VISIT for details.