Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating.
Vocalisation is formed in the inversion of the face, up until it reaches the face it is a sound akin to blowing through a blade of grass, it has pitch and intensity but little shape. The shape of vocalisation is formed in the "mask", the resonant chamber at the front of the head, the inverted face. Thereby, vocalisation is the sonic manifestation of the shape of the face outside of the body.
This creates an ambiguity as to the directionality of the face, in that, when someone vocalises visibly towards me, I cannot be sure which way the face, sonically captured in vocalization, is facing. It’s unclear if the other is just talking to themself or to me or are half in half out or are rotating. The chord of vocalisation, the fact that each and every vocalisation is heard/felt as sound in the face and the face captured in sonic form outside of the body simultaneously, suggests that the interaction may be a Narcissus' story, where the face is more often or than not reflected back towards the self. This thesis is supported further if we think about vocalisation as a form of self-pleasure, in the erotic experience of forming vocals and the enjoyment of hearing one's own voice, reflected in the story of Echo.
This seems to point towards a social failure or at least ambiguity of the interaction between self and other, if the self is always talking to the self. The experience further still, starts to feel violent when we de-mute or make sonic vocalisation, rarely done in a philosophy of voice. Incorporating sound's intrusive quality on the body into this intersubjective interaction points towards a violent potentiality. The intrusion of the sound of the other on my soundscape, my extended body, is the sonic extension of the body of the other in vocalisation, commanding a piece of my hearing territory, thereby penetrating my body.
The problem is that I cannot avoid this because that bodily intrusion has a face attached. In reference to Levinas’ ethics of the face, I am forced to partake in these socially unfulfilling interactions out of a sense of duty to the other's face. To not acknowledge the face in response, even though that inevitable involves an intrusion, is also to estrange the other. Hence, I agree to maintain these interactions in a conduct of consensual violence. The ambiguity of vocal presence leads to a situation where it is violent not to be violent, in my vocal intrusion upon the other.
Advisors/Committee Members: Chouraqui, Frank (advisor).
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Springham, A. (2018). Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating. (Masters Thesis). Leiden University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65374
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Springham, Anna-Liisa. “Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating.” 2018. Masters Thesis, Leiden University. Accessed January 22, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Springham, Anna-Liisa. “Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating.” 2018. Web. 22 Jan 2019.
Springham A. Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Leiden University; 2018. [cited 2019 Jan 22].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65374.
Council of Science Editors:
Springham A. Face, Vocalisation and Violence in an Ethics of Relating. [Masters Thesis]. Leiden University; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65374