ALEJANDRO T. ACIERTO
“Cavities (5)” is a work first performed on a North Side Chicago beach for the musical and performative works exhibition “Water Music.” Continuing my work around the voice that was previously focused on language, identification and the stutter, this project turned to the breath and inhalation (occasionally mediated by spit inside of my mouth) as primary sources of bodily expression and presence. Engaging in a durational performance in which a continuous inhalation is amplified through the horn of a megaphone held close to my mouth, I use a technique of reverse circular breathing to maintain continuous sound combined with changes in the vocal cavity. By amplifying these inhalations, I highlight the complexities of the breath as part of a paradox of power inherent with expressions of the voice. Positioning the performer in a state of a continuous inhalation is to proclaim (via megaphone) one’s constant state of presence (for the breaths and pauses we take during speech signal a psychological state of thinking, becoming, or about-to-ness). Unlike an exhalation that is mediated through the mouth by the tongue (as in speaking or singing), a constant inhalation obscures the sound emanating from the body, dislocating the signifiers that would otherwise proclaim its identification. With the megaphone positioned closely to my mouth as I manipulate the shape of my oral cavity, the audience was unable to see or anticipate how sounds come out from the megaphone. An important feature of the work, this positioning allows me the ability to both conceal the techniques I employ during performance while also suggesting a tenuous relationship between the body and the technologies that mediate it.