Presented on the occasion of the Tate Exchange: Come Together: Art & Politics in a Climate of Unrest in 2019, Voice is open source was a collaboration together with Spanish artist Ariadna Guiteras. The work brought together both a performance and a lecture in which I also took part as a performer. My increasing interest and curiosity in Guiteras’s work lie in her thoughtful way to use performance as a medium to speculate about the body and the voice - the relationships that bring them into being, the shared knowledges that permeate and the way these knowledges are transmitted.
As part of her ongoing research on the porosity of the bodies and particularly in the voice, Guiteras has focused her research on Spiritism, the science that believed in the existence of incorporeal beings, to use the body as a medium to trigger with contemporary ideas of the corporeal. London was a crucial city in the history of Spiritism. This pseudo-science became popular at the end of the nineteenth century, particularly in London, Paris and Barcelona, and was entangled with progressive politics. Spiritists believed in gender equality, animal and human rights, the abolition of military forces and secularism. Within Spiritism, mediums, usually women, were the main source of connection with “the afterlife”.
Central to this study of the body as a medium, its porousness (as it hosted other people’s) and its queerness (as it could embody both female and male), two factors that allowed them access to male-only spaces, and anticipated current notions of the body. As a result of this collaboration and my first experience as a performer, both Ariadna’s and my voice were entangled in the form of a bee, a red stone, the medium Maria and Spanish anarchist Amalia Domingo Soler.