I started by thinking of the spaces that affect our making as people. Thinking of the spaces around us as the mold pieces in which our bodies form.
This string of research focuses on the space of the mouth. The mouth as place of genesis of speech, The origin of words, the psychological and conceptual space that is the back of the throat, where words have started to come to be but have not quite yet.
Vilem Flusser, a Czech philosopher of phenomenology and technology among other things, writes in his book, Gestures, in 1999:
“If you lie in wait for a word at the moment it comes out of the mouth, try to catch it, to chew it before it is spit out (and that would actually be to grasp the gesture of speaking), you notice that you are always a second too late. Somewhere, somehow, before pronunciation and behind the mouth, the word has already been formed.”
And yet, I wonder about this. I try to catch words at that moment. Before they are public, but after they become words. I think of their mold, their womb, the mouth. Can I record the information encoded in the space of a mouth before we arrive at the pronunciation, before pronunciation is conceived, before sound?
I attempt to capture these words just as they are about to be uttered. I cast them in their place.
This immediately nullifies them. I am unable to articulate a sound with my mouth full of casting alginate. My speech is quickly neutralized, but the words, which as sound would dissipate in the air and quickly reach the end of their lives, are immortalized as physical objects. Impenetrable, indecipherable, impotent, and eternal.
In these attempts at recording sound, I have halted the words in their tracks, and diverted them, changed the way they manifest. Is what I end up with still words? Replicas of words?
Do they still hold the truth of their origin within them, or have they, via these levels of translation and their acquisition of a physical body, escaped their fate as symbols and signs, and were completely neutralized?