You are on page 1of 6

Aural Intimacy Salome Voegelin If you could hear my voice now you could feel my body in this voice

penetrating your ears, immersing you, and inviting you to act on me with your own articulation of your body, and I in turn would continue this play with another sonic gesture of mine and you with yours. In the visual I am different to you, at a distance other, and visible to you through this otherness outside your body. In vision you see me all at once, liking or rejecting it and I am through you liking or rejecting it that which you see. Whilst you are visible to yourself only in my gestures that represent your visual presence towards me. Your distance makes me totally other to you, and you are totally other in my gaze. We know each other through this contradiction. In sound I am immersed in what I hear. I hear myself at the same time as hearing myself speaking to you, and my sounds are always part of the soundtrack that I am hearing you in. My perception of you in sound is embodied it embraces and penetrates me when you speak, whilst I can penetrate you in sound performing in the voice an allegorical se!ual act. "#$uman life is bestially concentrated in the mouth%## &'attaille, p()* +ision discovers in a structural progression that of my fantasy which coincides with the image. In vision you are imperatively you through my desire, at the same time as limiting my visibility to your contradiction. ,he visual horizon is the system, the contract and genre in which we are read and read as "visuals#. In this genre the gaze searches and finds that which I am or which is other to me. +ision is allegorical, its compensating logic is motivated by the desire to cover up any incongruity between e!pression and perception, sign and signification. ,he tension between the visual sign and its signifier is neutralised through the limit of visibility, determining reality to be present visually, or not to be at all. ,he visual body is a synaesthetic whole, not disturbed by any incompatibility between the reading of the body and its reality, "#...inventing the illusion of pure present meaning## &Young, p-./*. ,he visual horizon makes us believe and lets us believe that it is a whole we are seeing, e!isting there before us in a meaningful entirety all we have to do is look. ,his visual whole neglects the details of its parts which lie in the motion of its continuous construction in sound. +ision sets out a linear progression 0 In sound there is no linearity. ,he sonic loss is not compensated for in the same way as the visual distance

recovers the lack. ,he metonymic audition does not impose its compensatory reading onto a "visual# object in a linear way. ,he immersitivity of listening provokes a multitude of perspectives, suggesting at any stage more than one solution or its contradiction. 1onic meaning processes are comple! and multitudinous, and do not work along linear lines of progressive discovery, driven by the desire for the agreement of the perception with its object in the 2uest for harmony and universal meaning. 'y contrast sound consciously involves the e!perience of the individual listener in the creation of the imaginary source as comple! and continuously changing possibilities. 3ny structuralist, visual, analysis of sound makes apparent the mechanism of compensation, and hence e!poses its ideology, &recorded sound* "#..reduplicating the effect of artificiality whilst at the same time commenting upon the very contrivance of the public space and the problematic of origins and originality## &4avies, p5*. ,here is no one sign and its contradiction for each aural signifier, but a multiplicity of comple! combinations, "#beyond 6their7 narratives of origin## &'habha, p58*, continually changing shape and relation. 'ataille#s body is in the negative. It is beautiful through the lover#s eye up on it, and ugly in lust. ,he lover#s eye renders the body perfect at a distance, whilst in lust intertwined it starts to breath and sweat, frightening us in its contradiction to perfection with what is mortal in the detail of life. In sound there is no such imperfection my embrace with you in sound is wholly me in you and therefor me altogether in you. 1onic space involves bodies, rather than embodied distance. "#1ound, if we speak of spatiality at all is like a fluid which surrounds us but it is a fluid which contains dimensions of varying shades and viscosities.## &Ihde, p8)*. ,here is no horizon in sound. My imagination of a sound is as much a sound as what is heard 0 auditory imagination sounds. ,he 1onic is not substantiated in the visual, but in the imagination of the visual. My e!istence in sound is fragile, of endless, multiple positioning, demanding continuous non0imperative fragmentation of the self, as well as of the object9phenomenon perceived. I am constructing my auditory presence anew all the time in the world of objects and between them. ,he non0compatibility of sound prevents the desire of hearing as a discovery of ones own pre0e!isting fantasy, and rather problematises and 2uestions this total fantasy, throwing the viewer into doubt, building the reality of the auditory image in doubt, and any engagement with it in uncertainty. ,he distance of the viewer onto the image, which enables the discovery of a total and pre0

e!isting fantasy, makes a comple! e!perience impossible. It renders the seen a fulfilment of the viewer#s e!pectation rather than an at every moment in doubt constructed possibility.,he correlation of the semiotic is compensating, nothing is left in0between for doubt to enter and a more comple! representation to emerge. :nder my gaze your body is motionless, my voice works on it, loosening it up in time. ,he sonic doubt is incessant its lack of a clear signification offers an individual comple! narrativation, articulating a continued transgression of the visual horizon in time. ,he lack of space between sign and signifier in the visual logic frames a location of desire and fuels the need for erotic transgression. ,he transgressive fantasy that invites the body into the imaginative is auditory. ,he erotic body in the voice transgresses the literal, visual language in the moment of e!citement. In the code of the visual contract the viewer finds emptiness enough to pursue ever new and personal points of arousal. ;ornography is at that place, where the limits of the semiotic coded reality beg for a personal intervention. ,he limit of the visual field invites the pornographic imagination as a transgressive force, whilst the sonic non0horizon allows everything and hence gives everything too. ,he erotic of the sonic body is real everywhere. ,he auditory realm leaves the listener spinning his9her own fantasy without ever attaining at the fissure of code and desires the e!citement of transgression. ,here is a different participation in the body that speaks the literal, visual meaning of writing is transgressed in the moment of reading into a personal, embodied e!pression. ,he transgression lies in0between the literal visual te!t and the sound of the voice. ,he body teases out of the script that which in it is se!ual and lives. ;oetry of transgression works against the visual regime of the semantic code. It makes available a space for wilful participation in the penetration of the surface toward something more subtle hidden in the comple! body of e!perience. ,he semantic literary meaning of the voice signifies the body, that in the voice which does not signify is the body. ,he voice is doubled into a sonic referent of a visual subject, and its imminent transgression in sound the fi!ed body becomes a body in motion. In the desire for speaking and listening lies the action orientatedeness of se!ual articulation the singer as an imminent listener, the listener an imminent speaker promising intercourse. ,his feedback loop between hearing and speaking, &the "voice* activates a set of human relationship# &<ramer, p-.5* that the visual image can only signify. 3ctual visual meaning, the literal, is left

hanging in pornographic communication. "#In erotic scholarship, poetry and a kaleidoscopic telling disrupt the asinine e!plicitness of e!pository prose.## &=rueh, p(* "#>rotic scholarships grounding in various literary genres produces not closed seamless arguments, but rather dances with words and ideas that invite readers to join in and invent their own movement in accord with and in contradiction to the authors## &=rueh, p?.*. >rotic fantasy transgresses the literary, semantic meaning of language and fluidifies the static denotation. It is an entering of writing into sound, into time, into the imaginary and personal from the collective. ,ransgression happens in the moment of arousal. ,he voice does not arouse as sound, but arouses as a visual imagination that is obtained through the transgression of a visual genre in sound. ,he female screams in porn make up for her missing come shot. $er sounds drive his thrusts and make him come as well as signify her own coming. ,he scream functions diegetically as a coded e!pression, which works within the contract and satisfies the need for limits, while the body in her voice entails imminently their transgression the viewer#s fantasy of the clima!. "#;ornography is a theatre of types never of individuals##, which "#..disdains fully formed bodies## &1ontag, p??/-)*. It offers the viewer emptied out bodies, non0characters, to be filled in the engagements of ones body in the action of viewing. ,he sonic body is too rich in connotations to multitudinous not emptied out and flat but comple! and embodied. My action towards the sonic body is different, is personal and constructing rather than transgressive and disruptive. ,he invitation for addition and participation allows for an endless fantasy rather than a clima!ing relief. It is not the visual but its transgression into the sonic that is arousing. Whilst the sonic is not fulfilment but a level of appropriation in an endlessly deferred cycle of fantasy and lust, turned on by frustration, towards a clima! that is not reached but pushed on forever in0between both representations. "#I wanted to fuck somebody so hard and it kept on not happening and not happening@ 3nd in total frustration I threw myself onto my empty bed with a feeling A that#s it, it I#m not getting fucked then I give up forever0 Besus@ 3s if a switch had been thrown at the bottom of my consciousness0as if giving up all hope of se!ual fulfilment. I had suddenly fallen into an ocean of white light where painlessly, I was burned empty of all an!iety and suffering.## &Cubinstein 2uoting from =oreman#s play Hotel Paradise, p/D* ,he need for communication, real intercourse, feeds the transgressive individual imagination of sound perpetually into the

literally meaningful, the collective, and back. ,his correlation performs a cyclical rotation around se!ual desire. =antasy comes to be defined as a power of contingency and re0evaluation, "#the force in the real world of the unconscious dreams..##&Cose, p-*. +isual pornography fi!es and arrests a concurrent individual fantasy in a collective e!pression. Whilst sound is the continued re0 evaluation of visual fi!ing incessantly working on its promise deferring endlessly its fulfilment. 3uditory imagination works continually on a fluid erotic embodiment. 1poken language hints at the limitlessness, the infinity of desire and the endless fantasy of the clima!. ,he desire for se! is individual and formulates a transgression of the collective horizon. ,he sonic is a strategy of continuous re0evaluation and transgression of the visual certainty through doubt. ,hrough a heterogeneous comple!ity it re0evaluates and challenges the visual homogenous representation of pleasure, and initiates a cyclical "spiel# of desire and lust. Eyberse! holds the promise of an immersive reality of desire and its fulfilment at once. ,he embodied subject in the cyber transgresses and represents, is sonic and visual, and collective and individual instantly. ,he cyber body is not the fi!ed visual body nor does it constitute the fluid body of the sonic, but "#...a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.## &$araway, p?)?*. In the real virtuality of cyberse! my body is immersed in a loop of action and re0action, and real through this interaction again and again. You arouse me through my imagining you, and fulfil my desire through being my imagination. You are totally through me that which I want you to be. ,he cyber body is "#Fo longer structured by the polarity of public and private## &$araway, p?)8*. 3nd space becomes space through the movement of my body vacillating between arousal and clima! in time. 'ut the cyber body too is just a fantasy, recouperable within the totalising framework of the collective9 the machine. ,he machine is homogenising visuality and leads us back to the perfection of the body at a distance. ,he superbody, the myth of the hairless, sweatless body, whose perfection cancels out comple!ities. ,he arousal of the cyber body lies in the transgression of the machinic perfection in lust. "#Fever completely loosing its grip, fantasy is always heading for the world it only appears to have left behind.##&Cose, p-* ,he consensual in the perfect imagination of the virtual always urges the body towards its transgression into a private state. ,he se!ual body is forever that in the voice, which is as yet

beyond visual representation, transgressing its visual code in sound.

Ceferences 'ataille, George, Visions of Excess, selected writings ?)8D0?)-H &:niversity of Minnesota ;ress% :1, ?))/*, 5th edition, orig. ?)D., translated from =rench by 'habha, $omi <., "'eyond the ;ale#, from Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of <inetic 3rt, &Few York, ?))-* 4avies, 1chaun "Iost In 1pace#, Eavallaro, 4avies, 4yson and Bonson eds., Essays in Sound 2 J autonomous.org9soundsite9csa.eis8content9essays9p-/Klost.html, pp.?0), orig. 3ustralia, E13, ?))( =rueh, Boanna, Erotic Faculties &:niversity of Ealifornia ;ress% Iondon, ?))5* $araway, 4onna, 3 Manifesto for Eyborgs% 1cience, ,echnology, and 1ocialist =eminism in the ?)H.s, in Ficholson ed. Feminism/ Postmodernism, &Coutledge% :<, ?)).*, pp. ?).08--, orig. published in Socialist Review, no. H., ?)H( Ihde, 4on, Sense and Si nificance, &4u2uesne :niversity ;ress% ;ittsburgh,?)D-* Cose, Bac2ueline, States of Fantasy, &Elarendon ;ress% L!ford, ?))H* Cubinstein, Caphael, "3 $otel in 3ny Lther Fame#, latest play from Cichard =oreman#s Lntological0$ysteric ,heater, in !rt and !merica, vol. D, Buly ?))), pp. /(0/D 1ontag, Susan, Styles of Radical Will, &+intage% Iondon, ?))/* Young, Iris M, ",he Ideal Eommunity and the ;olitics of 4ifference#, in Ficholson ed. Feminism/ Postmodernism, &Coutledge% :<, ?)).*, pp. -..0-8-