Flow, Fissure, Mesh

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Monthly Archives: August 2011


Recording audio text can be difficult. Everyone has experienced, I think, a kind of shameful distance from their own voice in playback. Hearing yourself without the contiguities of resonant skull bone – ear sockets, jaw, nasal cavities, sinuses – makes your voice seem higher, more insubstantial. Not exactly yours, not you. At such times, you are not what you hear yourself to be. And I think the feeling, the affect, produced in playback, in the looped recurrences of any recording, is a form of shame. Shame inheres in the membranous displacement between articulate and receptive selves, in what Jean-Luc Nancy seems to me to call “resonance.” Sounding oneself across the temporal gapping in the present tense – the extended moment of any given now, a materialized Jetztzeit, an extemporaneity – creates for me not bliss but a discomfiting. Listening carefully, listening well tends not so much to enlighten as to embrace the embarrassing bathos, the awkwardness, that circulates through the heart of the verbal.