Thursday, 21 February 2013

Aristotle on Hiccups + Artaud + Bane

Sup phonephiles.

I got it totally wrong in the seminar. It is Aristotle who makes the distinction between voice and bodily sounds as that of soul in breath...

“Voice then is the impact of the inbreathed air against the “windpipe,” and the agent that produces the impact is the soul resident in these parts of the body. Not every sound, as we have said, made by an animal is voice (even with the tongue we may merely make a sound which is not voice, or without the tongue as in coughing); what produces the impact must have soul in it and must be accompanied by an act of imagination, for voice is a sound with a meaning, and is not merely the result of any impact of the breath as in coughing; in voice the breath in the windpipe is used as an instrument to knock with against the walls of the windpipe. (Aristotle 2001, De Anima, 420b 28-37)” (Dolar, 2006, pp. 23)

If Bane's voice is modulated by analgesic gas then one could argue that he does not have a pure voice. He has a techno-pnematically modulated cyborg voice - making Bane even more of a true cinematic character.

 Not only is the source (the oral void) absent from the image on screen, suspending his act in a corporeal - half-way house between traditional voice forms-within-cinema (acousmatic and non-acousmatic - but of course all cinema voices ARE acousmatic - that's the illusion). But his voice is also, just like every other film character, technologically modulated - amplified. Bane is traditional cinematic vocal operation embodied, or rather the operations of cinematic voice uncovered and summed and ciphered into a body on screen, stuck inside the diegesis - horrifically. The source of his voice is hidden and his sonic is altered too - pure cinema!


Antonin Artaud  - "To have done with the judgment of God" 

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