Eight Months // One Minute

I needed proof. I had thirteen voice recordings in front of me, dropped into some audio software. I now had a visual representation of my voice recorded almost every two weeks since I started taking testosterone, and evidence of a change ...somewhere. Somewhere in these bright colors and varying lines was solid proof that my voice had gotten lower. The problem was, I couldn’t figure it out.

I asked a friend who knew more about sound and audio and got some advice on how to look at the data the software was showing. I played with it for hours but I still couldn’t figure it out. This program, that was supposed to give me confirmation of something I thought I could hear, was just a blur of beautiful, meaningless colors. But just because I couldn’t find meaning in it doesn’t mean there wasn’t any.

I rubbed testosterone gel on my arms for eight months straight. I read Joy Ladin’s words over and over again, for eight months straight. Each time I recited the poem, the recordings always ended just short of one minute. What followed was a compression of eight months of time, experiences, feelings, and changes, in one single minute.

Video stills from Eight Months // One Minute, 2020. 1min.

© Julian Parikh 2022