Technic: Interactive sound installation
Weight: — kg
The Pure Voice – Undoing Gender is a project based on a social context research. Giving as a result an interactive installation, where All visitors will have the opportunity to free their voices of normative gender, by their own perception, achieving a neutral voice or beyond, acquiring new nuances. Obtaining as a result a democratic act of un-performativity, acquiring sound samples through data collection. Because pursuant to (Butler, 2006), “gender is created by its own performance and hence it is performative”.
Alike, performance is required to create gender, this project feeds on open performance to undo the gender performativity.
The term un-performativity refers to required open performance to undo the gender performativity.
Neutrality or fluidity in pitch, being applied to the current social categorization of normative gender, results the start of the perfect genderless voice. The Pure Voice, an unlabeled voice. A pure voice because, in essence, we All are water. The installation uses, as a recode element, something as pure and relative to human being as water. The water acts as a transmitter medium, purifying and stripping categorizations, showing the human essence. The live voice of the participants passes through it, providing the neutral or fluid essence, deleting gender bias. The key element, the poetry, is represented by a digital water audio spectrum showing visitor voices interaction.
The Pure Voice – Undoing Gender as a project, focuses its attention on undoing gender. Because as Judith Butler stated (2006), “Gender is a social construct”. Butler’s claim about gender performativity posits that, gender is not naturally assigned but is made up of the acts that mark a person as “man” or “woman” (dress, mannerisms, etc.). And it is through the repetition of those gendered acts that the illusion of a stable gender identity is created. These acts are reproduced through established norms and controlled by institutional powers that tell us how to perform as a man and how not to perform as a man and how to perform as a woman and how not to perform as a woman. This performance generates the retroactive illusion of an existing gender inner core.
But we are not talking about war, let’s keep it neutral, we are talking about love. And everyone deserves to love themselves. For this reason, society needs to open its mind within a scene of constraint.
Therefore, The Pure Voice – Undoing Gender starts from neutrality and fluidity as a strategy to denaturalize and resignify bodily categories. Under Butler’s performative theory, it is proposed neutralization and decategorization through the voice and its distortion/modulation as a channeler to disrupt the categories of the body, sex, gender, and sexuality, and occasion their subversive resignification and proliferation beyond the binary frame (Butler, 2006).
To achieve it, in-depth research through diverse biomechanical parameters was conducted in collaboration with El Colegio Profesional de Logopedas de la Comunidad de Madrid. Where feminization, masculinization, and neutralization of the voice through the manipulation of the larynx, the resonators, the length of the throat, the vocal folds among other anatomical morphologies were given special emphasize.
This study, in a second stage, will reflect the performativity undone through All the voices free of normative gender collected. All these generated voices through each transmitter’s idiosyncratic perception, being heard by other human subject individually, shows that there is no consensus on what gender neutrality in the voice is. Due to each individual identifies those neutralizations categorizing them as masculine, feminine or perhaps coinciding with the transmitter, as neutral. This acknowledges the existence of normativity and therefore, the non-existence of gender.
According to Leung et al., (2021) “Having listeners indicate their perceptions of speaker gender and vocal femininity–masculinity is a subjective task. Their responses cannot be considered incorrect or correct as there is no gold standard for such perceptual ratings”.
This project was realized within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms residency program at WRO Art center and supported by the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union as well as Acción Cultural Española.
In collaboration with: Colegio Oficial de Logopedas de Madrid, Guillermo Casado and Pawel Janicki.