Space of voice


The voice simulates  the preservation of presence

The voice is an example of a complex structure built on a simple and pristine basis. The voice, as a sound, as an original "open form", becomes a foundation for one of the major methods of a subject's interaction with the surrounding reality. In turn, speech, as a superstructure over the voice, becomes one of the components of a subject's self-identification. Having cleared of the meaning, speech returns to its backbone, the voice, thus erasing the meanings generated by subjective interpretation of the pure sound. Meaningful speech is secondary not least because it conveys not the primary sensations of a subject, but only his/her attempt to articulate them. Meaningless speech can not exist, but the symbol of the primary voice, resembling the city lines network, enables one to perceive the lengthy chain of information transformation acts between subjects in the urban space more clearly.

The space of the voice forms meanings until the moment of formation of a physical space of dialogue. In this space, everyone lays an individual route to a certain collective medium where the boundaries of individual subjective reality merge with the spaces of common location. The voice space becomes part of the space of internal monologue as a transitional stage between the open form of comprehension and the moment of reflection. Meanwhile, the collective voice space becomes a place where disjoint monologues fuse; their spaces are so close to each other that the differences between them get blurred and a different paradigm of their interaction is formed. The difference between such monologues is perceptible only at the moment of relocation and receding from subjective reality in which every body submits to merging with urban information flows.


The costume from the point of view of its creator and as viewed by the observer, is a reflection of a multitude of processes: social environment of the individual, his/her aesthetic context, his/her interaction with the environment. The processes, in turn, are multilayered: in part they are conceived, formed and controlled rationally, while in part they remain unconscious and are perceived intuitively or are not sensed at all. Cognition and accurate description of the entire complex scheme of interaction is hardly possible. Besides, it is not that interesting, since the creation process, being completely structured, will become mechanistic and algorithmizable and would hardly be called creativity. The multilayer structure of environments and contexts is indispensable and can hardly be considered a disadvantage; however, because of its cumbersomeness, it inevitably overshadows the primary meanings and forms, and this situation is relevant not only for the garment but also for many other processes in the surrounding reality. Any text is perceived not only through its semantic units but also through the forms into which the words are clothed. The urban space and urban environment are congested and overburdened with overlapping information flows and senses. One may give more examples in which the original form is buried under a huge number of momentary and lasting nuances, and the difference in the structure of intricacy lies only in the extent of awareness with which this entanglement was created. 

The need to return to the original-source form does not need to be declared as a certain postulate; however, the understanding of the pure principle of the process will withdraw it from fussiness and instantaneousness. But is there any principle underlying the garment in particular and the sphere of fashion in general? Does fashion have an unconditional foundation? What will happen if we clear the garment from the layers of information flows? How will the cleared space of the garment look, how can we build it and how can one comprehend it? Is it possible to perceive the garment as a whole structure; can we observe how the transformation of primary pure meanings into secondary superstructures takes place; at what point is the original purity and the initial content message lost and forgotten?


The fundamental premise of the garment is not clear, and this complicates the purification process. But one can try to deconstruct the modern garment by the methods applicable to other similar structures.

The language and the voice represent an example of a complex structure built on a simple and pure basis. The voice as a sound, as the original "pure form", becomes a foundation for the building which constitutes one of the main ways of the subject's interaction with the surrounding reality. Speech as a superstructure over the voice becomes one of the constituent parts of the subject's self-identification. Being cleared of the meaning, the speech returns to its foundation, to the voice, thus wiping off secondary differences of subjects. Meaningful speech is secondary, already because it conveys not the primary sensations of the subject, but its attempt to verbalize them. The absence of meaningful speech is not possible, but the symbol of primary voice, similar to the framework of the city lines, makes it possible to apprehend more clearly the long chain of information transformation acts between the subjects. The convenience of the voice as an object for research and of the speech as an object for deconstruction has roots in many circumstances. For instance, it is connected with the fact that the language, among others objects, was probably least susceptible to conscious change and developed in many respects naturally, unlike architecture, theatrical art, etc. - that are changing, though in the context of social reality, but in a controllable way. Next, the structure of speech voice is convenient for its simplicity: the naturalness and primacy of objects is lost already at the stage of their definition since the definition brings forth constraints and limitations. Accordingly, the basic object should be as simple as possible, and the voice perfectly fits for this. Further, we can easily observe the primary motifs in the sounds of nature, birds in the context of different environments. Of course, the birds' singing is an evolutionary process, but since this evolution is external for man, it is not so important for him as an external observer. Moreover, we ourselves can easily observe the original form, returning to the voice without extraneous features, generating abstract sound streams not burdened with meaning. Finally, we can observe the phenomenon of silent cinema where the voice is supposed to be but is missing. Thus, we can explore the space of the voice not through its elements, but through its absence, through the observation of space devoid of speech.


What is the voice space in principle? What do we mean by talking about it? Is it a field, a gap? Does it have contours, borders, or, on the contrary, it has no boundaries? The definition seems to be clearly present in the head, but it does not have a finite structure until it is pronounced and structured, depriving the primary concept of the original purity at the same time. The space of the voice is interesting by its origin and by the impossibility of consistent analysis in terms of a formal approach. The boundary between the voice and the speech is blurred; it suffices to deprive the speech of the meaning - and the voice returns to its principium, which is not so simple for other complex structures: for instance, a wheat field, crops, a hedge, being a reflection of primary natural structures, refer to the relations of production and ownership and can not be returned instantly. That is, the space of a field is less authentic than the space of a forest or a sandy plain; the same way the speech is less authentic as compared to the voice, but the deconstruction of speech here will be much simpler.

Surprisingly, the voice space at some point becomes a "product": "the product of activity" which involves both economic and technological consumer constituents. The valid background of this phenomenon lies is the fact that it is a "non-tangible", individual object, since in the urban environment everyone, following the demands of his/her voice, creates and forms social ties. The above are often imposed and customary. This in a way evidences the absence of a pure field of information perception.

The observations show that the power of the voice lies often in its source - silence. Silence is a symbol of a certain conception and origin. In a way, it is a certain state of peace and tranquility. John Cage's 4ʹ33″ is an example of it. As conceived by the author, the contents of each of the three fragments are just the sounds of the environment that will be heard while one is listening to the composition. That is supposed to form a crystal-clear personal perception of the environment and time. The author does not impose his own perception. There is also a practice of "Sound patterns" - this is a paradigm based on the practice of an American composer Pauline Oliveros - deep listening. The retreats mean to let loose one's creative abilities through active listening to the sounds of the environment and meditative music. The Deep Listening Band composed of Oliveros, David Gamper, and Stuart Dempster specializes on performance and recording of music in spaces with enhanced resonance, such as caves, cathedrals, underground reservoirs or cisterns. Another example is a rock garden. Stones are arranged in groups of three, according to the Buddhist triad. Grooves are made on the garden surface with the help of rakes, stretching along the extended side of the garden and forming annuloid circles around the stones. It is traditionally believed that the surface of the garden symbolizes the ocean, while the stones symbolize the island, though a garden visitor can imagine something different. Silence is a kind of illusory (open) state which we can fill and impregnate with different elements and actions; but the very state of it forms our personal perception, each time helping us to ponder on how much we perceive from the outside (from the information noise flows in the megalopolis). And still, can we say that silence is a source? A pure primary form? The silent cinema is an amazing example of how powerful is the emotional and informational impact on the viewer through such expressive means as music, gestures, scenery, visual effects - anything but voice. And, of course, it is very difficult to give a confident definition of a "pure form" and to find ways to create the field in which emotional perception will be natural and not imposed, where one will be able to form his/her personal perception field beyond a certain context. Perhaps, this is all a kind of utopia that can rightfully exist, but that does not lead to anything concrete - the goals are vague, the finale is not clear.