Mouth/Muzzle. Genesis Victoria. Uhland-Fasanen-Passage, Berlin. Register Franziska Windisch, Kayla Elrod. 2020. 


“Mouth/Muzzle” was performed in the context of Francisca Windisch workshop called “Speaking of sound”, after spending one week doing listening and writing work in different spaces near to UDK’S Sound Studies and Sonic Art faculty. This performance was an event part of a whole research process of performativity of writing and voice. In the whole process, my methodology was to engage physically with the spaces through voice and listening as an ambiguous being, a creature. I explored the spaces acoustically, knowing how my voice but also my silent presence affected the place. 

One of the previous key experiences for me was a voice exploration outside of Berliner Festspiele. I began to sing in a ventilation escape. Suddenly, something answered my voice in an uncanny way. I never knew if it was somebody else or just the air passing through the tubes. But clearly had some kind of pulse, a presence. A voice. Quickly I started to identify with this voice and be affected by it. I lowered my pitch and allowed the air to circulate more freely through my throat. Other sounds, other voices came out from me. I became a We. An intra-action. This was a poem that I wrote and the performance mixed with the sounds recorded that day in this place :

Following in a creature’s footstep

I arrived to a place of wonders,

In the middle of the grass,

A square,

A deep void where fallings seeds were caught,

/I called,

something answered,

A hunting gaze, two rabbits,

Big eyes, big ears,

An underworld beneath

Do they hear me growl?

/From the bottom of the square,

A rumble breathing,

A whispering void

I bread, it breeds





/Something overlaps,

A reverberant whistle

I sing, I appear and disappear,

A pause,

One rabbit is still there…

Sometimes I’m not a threat.

Not only this event allowed me to develop a knowledge that consequently ended up into a performance action. It also removed my memories and sensitivities. It reminded me of something familiar but forever unknown. Just as the freudian definition of uncanny, unheimlich, unfamiliar (Freud:2003) but pushing the uncomfortability into something else. Through my performances I have been working with this kind of strangeness. My aesthetic proposal is to move from the fear of uncanny to the pleasure of the queer. But not as just pleasure but as a performativity of desire.Through voice I intend to hack the visual system of perceiving the world internalized in me. The voice, as an agency, takes me to indeterminate but known places, before everything was divided in two, before the lacanian mirror. There is something comforting but disturbing at the same time in non-musical voices. 

Finally, as result of this process, I performed Mouth;Muzzle in the Uhland-Fasanen-Passage. Regarding the previous experience, I played with the multiplicity of voice but also the voice as an uncanny presence. I also wear a mask made of threads and a cape in order to enhance this no-where-being. I used two speakers to reproduce my voice. One of them was outside, in a little backyard, and it reproduced a composition of my manipulated voice and field recorded sounds. This recorded voice reproduced some reflections that I had about how the voice allows us to connect and relate with the space in an indeterminate-creaturly-way. The other speaker was inside of a glass-cabinet-hallway and it reproduced my live-voice. My live-voice was full of air and low pitches sounds, almost growlings. What happened was that my voice and presence were extended through multiple instances, avatar-voices. The live-voice mimicked the recorded-voice and created a third-voice. This voice was affected by the acoustic properties of the glass-hallway, but also distorted by phonetic apparatus. Regarding what I was told after my performance, the sensation of it created an intense but playful atmosphere. Again, an uncanny intimacy, an intra-action.