In speaking of the human voice one necessarily speaks of bodies. And yet, with the advent of digital voices we are asked to re-imagine this relationship. Because they do not speak through bodies for example, digital voices are never tongue tied, choked by breath— or by passion. They are designed to function as neutral containers for useful information. I wonder however, at what point this ‘bodiless neutrality’ begins to break down. At what point, and for what reasons however does the digital medium itself become charged? Autoerotix is an 11-minute recital of 8 pop-songs about female masturbation recorded between 1984 and 2015. Digital voices produced through a free online text-to-speech generator seamlessly string together the lyrics of these songs beginning with Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My)” and ending with Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop.” The chorus of digital voices chants about self-pleasuring and in so doing represents an experience of subjectivity, desire and self-love not normally attributed to machines. The flat and ‘neutral’ tone of the electronic voices contrasts the erotically charged content they speak. While these songs tend to celebrate female masturbation as some kind of liberating behavior, the deadpan delivery of the cyborg voice satirizes pop-culture imaginings of self-love and desire. This work engages hyper-capitalist constructions of ‘female’ sexuality in a humorous and ironic way, while also emphasizing new intersections between bodies, language, pop-culture, and technology.
- Mara Eagle
Mara Eagle is an American Montreal-based artist working in sound, video, sculpture and performance. She holds a BA from Marlboro College and is currently MFA candidate at Concordia University where her research has been supported by the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC).
Acknowledgment to Phil Hawes who supplied generous and patient technical support throughout the various iterations of this project.
- Mara Eagle
SEPTEMBER 7 TO OCTOBER 13, 2018
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 5PM - 00PM
ARTIST TALK /
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 3PM