Accepted Paper:

What is a Song? Embodied Research and the Audiovisual Body  

Authors:

Ben Spatz (University of Huddersfield)
Nazlıhan Eda Erçin (University of Exeter)

Paper short abstract:

We propose an open, semi-theatrical presentation through which to explore the potential of new audiovisual forms to articulate the ontology of song. Our presentation interweaves dialogic exposition and duo songwork with screenings of video essays tracing laboratory-based experimental practice.

Paper long abstract:

We propose an open, semi-theatrical presentation through which to explore and present the potential of audiovisual forms to articulate the onto-epistemology of song. Our presentation interweaves dialogic exposition and duo songwork with screenings of extracts from a new series of video essays that trace the laboratory-based experimental practice of the AHRC-funded project 'Judaica: An Embodied Laboratory for Songwork'. These video essays — 'He Almost Forgets That There is a Maker of the World', 'Diaspora', 'Şişeler / Shishelai: Identity in the Laboratory', 'Labour', 'nefs: embodied self', 'Działoszyce', and others — locate the act of singing within a broader ecology of technique, identity, and place, using strategies specific to the audiovisual domain.

Song — or rather what we call songwork, the whole field of elaborated practice around song — can help us understand audiovisuality not as a technological medium (audio + video) but as a zone of embodiment defined by its capacity to be inscribed be these technologies. We invite audiovisuality, in this sense, to act as a third term that breaks open the vexed dichotomy of writing and embodiment (often glossed as 'theory' and 'practice'). What does this mean for the university, as an institution built on equating knowledge with the archive? What does it mean for our understanding of embodiment in a world increasingly saturated by audiovisual media? We propose to explore these questions in a live scholarly setting, linking new media technologies to the audiovisual body.

Panel P042
Knowing by singing: song, acoustic ecologies and the overflow of meaning