Voicing beyond Human: Constructing Canine Vocality

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


There are legends, fables and fairytales in which animals behave and talk as humans; paintings and photographs in which they are framed as human-like; movies, animation films and documentaries where moving images of animals are synchronized with human voices, so animals are ‘reworked’ as a kind of humanoids; circus and other performances where animals are taught to do things that are typical for humans... There are all kinds of intriguing examples in arts and culture of how animals and/or their representations are reinvented as anthropomorphic entities. In anthropocentric world and its artistic and cultural representative mechanisms when animal is reinvented as a human, this is easily understood as a kind of ‘natural’ development. In cases of performing arts where ventriloquist dimension arises between what we see - humanized representation of animal – and what we hear at the same time - the human voice – ‘humanized animal’ becomes widely accepted code, ‘make believe’ that even young kids learn and play with, quickly understanding its status of social convention.

However, the second part of the title of this conference - animal voice – directs my theoretical attention towards the cases that show the movement in the opposite direction: ‘animalization of humans’, humans that are ‘becoming animals’: cases when humans start to behave, act, and sound as animals (Others, monsters)... Contrary to the humanized-animal-construct, ‘animalized-human’ in which human is ‘de-humanized’, projected into a kind of ‘monstrous zone’ brings more ‘friction’ and provokes certain sense of ‘unpleasantness’.
Period30 Dec 2018
Event titleHuman Voice, Animal Voice
Event typeConference
LocationTel Aviv, IsraelShow on map