Voice as Art : From Theatre to Forensics book cover
1st Edition

Voice as Art
From Theatre to Forensics

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 29, 2022
ISBN 9780367367510
April 29, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Voice as Art considers how artists have used human voices, since they became reproducible and entered art discourse in the twentieth century.

This book embeds artworks using voices within historical and theoretical contexts in a comparative overview arguing that reproduction caused increased creativity moving from acting to creating phonic materials framed by phenomenological deep listening by early video and performance to the plurality and sampling of postmodernism and the multiple angles of contemporary forensic listening. This change is an example of how artistic practice reveals the ideologies of listening. Using a range of examples from Hugo Ball, Martha Rosler, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Janet Cardiff, and Mike Kelley through to contemporary practice by Shilpa Gupta, The Otolith Group Elizabeth Price the voice is tracked through modernism and postmodernism to posthumanism in relation to speaking subjects, sculptural objects, documents, dramaturgical utterance, forensic evidence, verbatim techniques, and embodied listening.

This book gives artists, researchers, and art audiences ways to understand how voices exist in between theoretical discourses and how with their utterance’s artists create new dispositions in space by reworking genres to critique cultural form and meaning. It will be of great interest to students and practitioners of sound art, visual culture and theatre and performance.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. One Hundred Years of Voice in Art Practice
  3. Dramaturgical Performances, Documentary Utterances and Vocal Objects
  4. Art, emotion, and the location of voices
  5. Phenomenology of Voice
  6. Plural Voices: Postmodernity, subjectivity, and sampling
  7. Listening to voice
  8. Conclusion: Voice and Contemporary Practice

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Richard Couzins is a researcher, writer and practicing artist, making, and exhibiting work both as a solo artist and collaboratively. His research interests include moving image, the human voice in artistic practice, song, photography in contemporary art, and the relationship between the Avant Garde, early cinema, and music hall.