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VOICE: Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media

by Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson and Theo Van Leeuwen The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 440 pages
AU$32.99 NZ$34.77
Product Status: In Stock Now
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& Academics:
Voice has returned to both theoretical and artistic agendas. In the digital era, techniques and technologies of voice have provoked insistent questioning of the distinction between the human voice and the voice of the machine, between genuine and synthetic affect, between the uniqueness of an individual voice and the social and cultural forces that shape it. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on these topics from history, philosophy, cultural theory, film, dance, poetry, media arts, and computer games. Many chapters demonstrate Lewis Mumford's idea of the ''cultural preparation'' that precedes technological innovation—that socially important new technologies are foreshadowed in philosophy, the arts, and everyday pastimes.

Chapters cover such technologies as voice mail, podcasting, and digital approximations of the human voice. A number of authors explore the performance, performativity, and authenticity (or 'authenticity effect') of voice in dance, poetry, film, and media arts; while others examine more immaterial concerns—the voice's often-invoked magical powers, the ghostliness of disembodied voices, and posthuman vocalization. The chapters evoke an often paradoxical reassertion of the human in the use of voice in mainstream media including recorded music, films, and computer games.

Editors' Preface
Norie Neumark, "Introduction: the paradox of voice"

Section 1, Capturing V01CE
Theo van Leeuwen, "Vox Humana"
Thomas Levin, "Before the Beep: A Short History of Voice Mail"
Virginia Madsen and John Potts, "Voice-cast: The Distribution of the Voice via Podcasting"
Theresa M. Senft , "Four Rooms"
Martin Thomas, "The Crackle in the Wire: Archival Recordings in Arnhem Land"

Section 2, Performing V01CE
Norie Neumark, "Doing Things with Voices: performativity and voice"
Meredith Morse, "Voice, Dance, Process, and the 'Pre-digital': Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer in the Early 1960s"
Brandon LaBelle, "Raw Orality – sound poetry and live bodies"
Amanda Stewart, "Vocal Textures"
Mark Amerika, ''Professor VJ's Big Blog Mash-Up''

Section 3, Re-animating V01CE
Ross Gibson, "Carbon and Silicon"
Isabelle Arvers, ''Cheats or glitch? Voice as a game modification in Machinima''
Helen Macallan and Andrew Plain, "Filmic Voices"
Mark Ward, "Voice in the Emotion Machine"
Alex Stockburger, ''The Play of the Voice: The role of the voice in contemporary video and computer games"

Section 4: At the Human Limits of V01CE
Michael Taussig, "Humming"
Nermin Saybasili, " 'Digital Ghosts': Voice and Migratory Hauntings"
Giselle Beiguelman, "Media Voices: Beyond Talking Heads"
Philip Brophy, "Post-humanism and Vocalization"
List of Contributors

Norie Neumark is Professor of Media Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne. She is a sound and media artist ( and the coeditor (with Annemarie Chandler) of At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet (MIT Press, 2005).

Ross Gibson is Professor of Contemporary Art, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Media and Communication at University of Technology, Sydney.