[-empyre-] Why Noise?
xname at xname.cc
Wed Mar 14 07:19:22 AEDT 2018
before I shoot another thread off, I wanted to share some reflections
following David's thought provoking post with related responses.
Regarding the relation, or ratio, noise to signal, I think this is a
matter for physicists and engineers, along with media theorists. The
distinction dilutes to different ends, of course. As in regards to
artists, I believe since Man Ray's photo of the DUST on Duchamp's Large
Glass, the position of noise and dust in art has been established. The
distinction between carrier and content brings ideas that come from
communication theory and semiotics. When I was writing about the
semiotics of audiovisuals and the animation of drawings, back in 2002, I
had to notice that for a sign to communicate any meaning in time, there
is always a sequence of signs producing nonsense. Every sign contains
nonsense if we break it down to size. For signification to occur, there
is always something emerging between interpretation and
miscommunication, object and reference.
So the idea of encrypting communication into that which is human but not
machine understandable is very contemporary, as we wouldn't have
thought, not so long ago, that we'd have to prove we are not robots on a
everyday basis. The question of censorship on the one hand, and this
idea of noise as potentially subversive. Why should we consider noise as
Is noise ontologically anti establishment?
How often are media making noise, without actually informing?
Luigi Russolo, in his futurist manifesto dated 1913 (The Art of Noise),
connects the encounter of noise and art to the machine:
"Ancient life was all silence. In the nineteenth century, with the
invention of the machine, noise was born. And so was born the concept of
sound as a thing in itself, distinct and independent of life, and the
result was music, a fantastic world superimposed on the real one, an
inviolable and sacred world."
Listen to this:
Is it SIGNAL or NOISE?
Maybe we could think of something hidden, whose voice is unheard, or
cancelled, the marginals, including those marginalised and those living
at the borders, all that which is not accepted by society, that which is
overlooked, a floating eye avoiding the gaze of the 'home' of the
homeless, or the screams of those who haven't been accounted for?
This metaphor of that which is there but is not considered important
enough (to BE SIGNAL), becomes, then, NOISE, that noise we want to
amplify, taking it to the foreground, we want its narrative to stand
out, telling us the stories which are unfolding at the interstices of
the MACHINE (social, mechanical, electronic, affective, semiotic, etc).
We want to listen to the sound of the mechanism, we want to make it
excessive because we have been told that we shouldn't pay attention,
that it's annoyance, that it doesn't mean much because it's NOISE,
nothing else than NOISE, and should be ignored.
Instead, we want to see if it there's SOMETHING IN IT FOR US. And we
want to hear it clear and LOUD.
phantasmata and illusions
More information about the empyre