(edited by) Maria Pramaggiore, Annabelle Honess Roe – Vocal Projections: Voices in Documentary


Bloomsbury, ISBN-13: 978-1501331251, English, 316 pages, 2018, USA

The objectification of the voice as an incidental component of films, predominantly influenced by visuals, is an outdated enquiry. As an example, recent AI techniques, used in manipulative ways, have proved the still crucial importance of voice in video, as in the famous video made by Jordan Peele and BuzzFeed where he completely “ventriloquizes” Barack Obama in a way that can mislead the majority of viewers into believing it was authentic. The importance of voice is a particularly sensitive argument in documentary. Here it is mostly associated with voiceover, probably because of the trust we instinctively give to the medium. This is a collection of essays, discussing different strengths of voice within this context, including the #post-colonial common faults#, or the hiring of celebrity voices. It is a fascinating examination of the cultural and political consequences provoked by different options, which can be easy connected to the respective bodies in what Chion defined as “acousmêtre” or ”the voice sonically present but visually absent”.
The voice in post-digital society no longer represents the most natural means of communication, but rather a symbolically specific tool. But it is maybe the most recognisable tool of communication (especially with the finally reached high-quality audio spectrum), with its power to evoke and intervene right into our imagination.