This article concentrates on the substance of audition in Derek Jarman's Blue. In his last feature film, Jarman makes a decisive ethical and aesthetic break: he shifts value away from the overdetermined cultural premiums associated with the visual ``spectacle'' and onto the indeterminate event of aurality that reconceptualizes queer belonging in terms of the erotics of the ear. Tracing the impact of Jarman's audiovisual project, the essay begins with the argument that the relationship of sound to image in Blue is defined by an entropic or unvisualized audition. This relationship in turn corresponds to a technical nonproductivity inscribing certain constructions of the aural spectacle in philosophies and theories of film sound. Blue's model of aural spectacularization is then linked to Michel Foucault's remarks on speakability/unspeakability, voice, and listening in The History of Sexuality and The Hermeneutics of the Subject. What lies unthought in these texts, this article contends, is something Foucault can only imply: a groundwork for a mode of audition that poses a moving counterweight to the ocular- and logocentric assumptions that often underwrite queer theory.
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Jacques Khalip; “The Archaeology of Sound”: Derek Jarman's Blue and Queer Audiovisuality in the Time of aids. differences 1 September 2010; 21 (2): 73–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-2010-004
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