[-empyre-] Welcome to the March 2018 Discussion!

Junting Huang jh2358 at cornell.edu
Sat Mar 3 03:43:07 AEDT 2018

Noise: Disorientation, Contamination, and (Non)Communication

Moderated by Junting Huang and Xin Zhou with invited guests

Week 1: Xin Zhou (CN), Weida Wang (CN), David Xu Borgonjon (US)
Week 2: Eleonora Oreggia (IT/UK), Joo Yun Lee (KR), Wenhua Shi (CN)
Week 3: Norie Neumark (AU), Sarah Simpson (UK), Ryan Jordan (UK/HK),
Gianluca Pulsoni (IT)
Week 4: Caitlin Woolsey (US), Christof Migone (CA), Julien Ottavi (FR),
Junting Huang (CN)

Thank Renate for the introduction. Welcome to the March discussion!

Noise is not only limited to acoustic experience. The Latin root of
"noise," nausea (originally "seasickness"), refers to the sensory
experience of disorientation in general. In David Novak's words, noise is
"a moving subject of circulation, of sound and listening, that emerges in
the process of navigating the world and its differences."

In 2007, a Taiwanese poet named Hsia Yu published Pink Noise, a bilingual
poetry collection made of found texts in English and machine-translated
texts in Chinese printed on translucent plastic leaves. Since the language
pair between Chinese and English is notoriously difficult for machines, the
translated text is, not surprisingly, often incoherent, nonsensical, and
"noisy." This uneven linguistic hierarchy is echoed by the fact that all
original English texts are kept intact, whereas all machine translated
Chinese texts are derivative and unidiomatic. It is clear which language is
calibrated against which. However, Pink Noise reveals the digital protocol
that dictates the global circulation of language. It also acknowledges the
mutual unintelligibility of cultural and linguistic differences.

Today, noise became an encompassing figure. It refers to unstructured,
extraneous, and erroneous traces that have diverged from cultural
norms-from acoustic aberration ("noise music") to ecological contamination
("noise pollution") and informational abnormality ("noise signal"). This
month, we invite our guests and subscribers to think together: How does
noise register a response to norms, protocols, and authorities? How does
noise reveal the epistemic bias of social and political power? How could
noise become an effective strategy for conversation and/or resistance?


Week 1: (March 1 to 7)

Xin Zhou

Xin ZHOU is a researcher, writer and curator of film, video and media arts,
currently based in Shanghai. He has curated public programs and film and
video series at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Carpenter Center for the
Visual Arts (Boston), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, National Museum
of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (Seoul), UnionDocs Center for
Documentary Art (Brooklyn), OCT Loft (Shenzhen), and The Performing Garage
(NYC). He was co-curator of the 2nd Asian Film and Video Art Forum at MMCA
in Seoul, and guest curator of the 2nd Shenzhen Independent Animation
Biennale at OCT Loft, Shenzhen. Recent projects include MONSOON, PRAYERS,
Contemporary Art/Boston, and ODE TO INFRASTRUCTURE at META Project Space,
Shanghai. His writing has appeared in Artforum (China), The Brooklyn Rail,
Film Comment, Social Factory: 10th Shanghai Biennale exhibition catalogue,
and elsewhere. He has a MA in Cinema Studies from New York University, and
was a Research Associate in the Department of Chinese Culture at the Hong
Kong Polytechnic University (2016-2017).

Wang Weida

Wang Weida is a PhD candidate in the music department of Royal Holloway,
University of London. His subject focuses on Western classical music
Industry in the Post-Socialist China which relates to an interdisciplinary
research crossing musicology, cultural studies, creative industry studies
and music management. He also examines how cultural and social ecologies
construct people's subjectivities within the context of China's cultural
industries by looking at the relation between Chinese and Western

David Xu Borgonjon

David Xu Borgonjon is a writer and curator. He works on the economic
imagination in contemporary art and 20th century literature. Based in New
York, he teaches curating at Rhode Island School of Design and is
completing a Ph.D. in modern Chinese literature at Columbia University.
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