The Glow She Speaks

Text written by trans- (Laura Callegaro and Carla Gimeno Jaria)
Originally published in the collective’s website

I look at you so much that I don’t see any longer.

You get used to it. I get used to you. I am not sure, am I touching you?

I am speaking without moving my mouth. I feel you. You are so flat, you move quickly, you are so fluid.   Again.

I hear your voice, it’s inside me. I want to see more. Lighter. Actually, later. Busy now.

– How overwhelming and limitating at the same time. – Like, nowaday’s communication system, society, relationships? – How care and intimacy are constructed. – Values such as empathy, solidarity… even simply discussions. – Dialogue among people. Dissemination of ideas. – Do you speak often with people? – What do you mean with ‘speak’? – Words exchange between bodies, the noises of our voices? – There’s always too much noise. – Let’s don’t speak for a while then.

Two minutes of silence. I map carefully all the sounds surrounding our bodies.

Our breathing, synchronised, the rain outside falling on the window, the roar of the boiler, the cars passing over the wet street, or a soft drip in the toilet sink.

I can hear my thoughts, resonating in my head. It´s been a long day, I say to myself. Yet I wonder, isn’t it strange that I can hear my own voice without actually speaking?

In The Uprising, Franco Bifo Berardi introduces a powerful manifesto dissenting with the financial systems and neoliberalism, which have automatised the social body to every level. In that same text, Berardi introduces a beautiful point on the poetical features of the voice and its potentialities to resist this functionalisation of language. Berardi recalls how children used to learn language from their mothers and then stresses that yet nowadays they learn from a machine.

Roar is a curatorial project which emerges from the need to resist, question and re-think the way in which language, behaviours and emotions are socially predetermined. Maybe the voice, as Berardi suggests, is a way to withstand this scenario. The unique features of our voice’s tone in a specific time and space, as part of our behaviour: such an inmost but immediate element of our person. Within our highly technologically connected, visual and media-based society, we wonder what voice’s potentialities can do. Invisible but present, in 2019, what can the voice’s viscerality add to the art-field and the society we live in? How can it be a catalyst to unify rather than to isolate?

We wondered to which extent is collaboration an instrument of productivity, and how can participative research be a tool for the creation of cultural sites – where to question normative behaviours while creating a sense of community.

When does that participative research become really participative? Where is equality to be found and/or how to create equality? Above all, can equality imply difference rather than assimilation – and still be equality? Is this an option in our capitalist scenario?

How do we open up a discussion, when do we start being inclusive as cultural producers? How much is matter involved in the creation of affinities and art-based practices? How much can our voice overcome boundaries, as well as digital and physical expectations?

We have been wondering a lot. The warmth of voice and first-hand touch or impression you get from someone talking to you. We see creation of affection in this, we see the potentialities of critical thinking coming from collective analysis and debates – we perceive it as a transparent process, the unforeseeable, living experiences owned by our own bodies in spaces.

Roar is a lively loud, individual or collective, joyful or aggressive, animal or human, an awakening vibration. It’s here and now. We wondered what does it mean to listen to one’s voice without seeing their face, skin colour. How is identity constituted, how much can and cannot the accent of someone tell us. But there is more, there’s more you can and cannot grasp from one’s discourse and their voice. The recording of an event with what has been said rather than how it looked like, this is what interested us. Shall we cheat on the video or photo documentation?

Who was in that event? Who was speaking?

How is it not to see? Which are the limitations of the sight? How does the voice itself communicate?

How is the rhythm of assimilation of an audio recording aftermath? Is one willing to be patient, will one listen? Within our lives saturated by images from different sources, we wondered if it could have made sense to suspend the visual performative aspect of images’ efficiency.

How do you feel listening to Marta?

Is sound a way to explore differently, perhaps less efficiently, the performing demands imposed by today’s neoliberal structure?

Roar Vol. I has been the first of a series of events curated by Laura Callegaro and Carla Gimeno Jaria (trans-), which was born out of these premises. It took place at Flat Time House, London, on 26th February 2019. It featured Naz Balkaya (Panicattack Duo), Giulio Dal Lago and Marta Melià.

More info about Roar Vol. I event at Flat Time House can be found here.