[-empyre-] Week 3 Introduction

Noralyn Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Tue Mar 20 14:05:56 AEDT 2018

Hi Junting and all

Thanks for inviting me into this fascinating discussion. I’d like to provide a bit of background to my thinking and work with noise — from the 90s to present day. 

(Sorry the formatting seems to have gone a bit dirty… no sooner spoken of than enacted!)

Noise first appealed to me as a dirty antidote to ‘modern’ aesthetics of clean, bright, white, mono-cultural future and all the ecological and political problems that has evoked. In the sound world that included the early digital promises of ‘clean’ sound.  Historically cleanliness has been a way to distinguish the clean, white, proper, and quiet bourgeois self from the dirty, messy noisy, carnally excessive, sexually out of control working class and colonials (great book about this was Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression  l986).  I liked how this history complicated the pleasures and political effects of "clean" sound. Perhaps someone might comment too on the cultural specificity of this take on dirt and noise – a Chinese friend of mine in Australia pointed out to me that where she came from noise is a sign of happiness and prosperity.

One of the things I got interested in to listen differently, in a more messy and polyphonic way, was alchemy – a practice of knowing and doing. Looking into the seven gates of the alchemical process, I really responded to putrefaction: putrefaction and fermentation. The moment of putrefaction is bodily. All your senses are assaulted.  This is a moment resonant with Julia Scher’s “dirty data” (1995 Danger Dirty Data https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/54044338?q&versionId=67005692 <https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/54044338?q&versionId=67005692> ) The alchemist smells decomposition, hears the noise of the dung beetle, recalling the stench and noise of the transformative process within ourselves. Putrefaction undoes the clean and proper, noiseless bourgeois subject’s body.

It is during the nigredo of alchemy, which might occur at any gate, that you come most thoroughly and noisily unstuck. A moment of deepest despair so familiar and resonant for most artists.  You are plunged into something awful, but essential. There is a raucous cacophony of pain/noise -- beetles, ravens, green lions -- human/inhuman caterwauling that echoes, redoubles and exceeds the noise of Michel Serres in his most multiple unpredictable turbulent moment. The nigredo is an intensity of matter/ing, of meaning/meaninglessness, of noise and information, an intensity so great and terrible that there is nothing left but to do the Work. (I made a radio work with Alchemy, Separation Anxiety, for ABC in Australia and New American Radio in the US – that was a long time ago but this discussion has made me think about it again now.)

I hadn’t thought about dirt much lately til recently working with the ultimate decomposers/composers -- worms -- and attuning to a noisy collaborative voice together. https://workingworms.net/ <https://workingworms.net/>  https://vimeo.com/247735081

In another register, recently as I’ve been thinking about voice and new materialism I’ve been noticing the voice of nausea – which recalls the opening points for this month about noise and nausea. In Voicetracks I wrote about Kathy High’s wonderful video work Domestic Vigilancia from Everyday Problems of the living -- the voice of her vomiting cat that gave me so much to think about. Since he alerted my senses and thinking to the vomiting voice, I’m hearing it all over the media. Does anyone have any ideas on why so many films have scenes of nausea and vomiting lately? It’s like vomit has replaced sex as the required transgressive gesture. The gut speaks…

all the best
https://workingworms.net/ <https://workingworms.net/>  

> On 19 Mar 2018, at 1:51 PM, Junting Huang <jh2358 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks to Eleonora, Wenhua, and Joo Yun for your posts! I’m sorry about the slow pace in the second week, but please feel free to follow up on their posts anytime. The annual meeting of Society for Cinema and Media Studies ended today in Toronto, and we are back in week 3. I am excited to introduce the guests for this week. They are Nicholas Knouf, Norie Neumark, Ryan Jordan, Sarah Simpson, and Gianluca Pulsoni.
> ————————
> Nicholas Knouf
> Nicholas Knouf is an Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. He is a media scholar and artist researching noise, interferences, boundaries, and limits in media technologies and communication.
> His recent book, How Noise Matters to Finance (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), traced how the concept of “noise” in the sonic and informatic domains of finance mutated throughout the late 20th century into the 21st. His current research project, tentatively entitled At the Limits of Understanding, listens to how we have tried to communicate with both ghosts and aliens.
> His current artistic research explores the re-presentation of signals from the cosmos. Projects in this vein include they transmitted continuously / but our times rarely aligned / and their signals dissipated in the æther (2018-present), a 20 channel sound art installation with speakers made from handmade abaca paper and piezo electric elements, with sounds collected from satellite transmissions; PIECES FOR PERFORMER(S) AND EXTRATERRESTRIAL ENTITIES (2017-present), event scores laser etched into handmade translucent abaca paper; and, On your wrist is the universe (2017-present), generative poetry about satellites and the cosmos for your smartwatch.
> Norie Neumark 
> Norie Neumark is a sound/media artist and theorist.  Her radiophonic works have been commissioned and broadcast in Australia (ABC) and in the US. Her collaborative art practice with Maria Miranda (www.out-of-sync.com) has been commissioned and exhibited nationally and internationally. Her sound studies research is currently focused on voice and the new materialist turn. Her latest writing on voice is Voicetracks: Attuning to Voice in Media and the Arts (MIT Press, 2017). She is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at VCA and Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourne, and the founding editor of Unlikely: Journal for Creative Arts. http://unlikely.net.au
> Ryan Jordan
> Ryan Jordan creates powerful audio-visual performance experiences explicitly attempting to access portals into the psychedelic reality matrix. These are explored through experiments in Possession Trance, retro-death-telegraphy, hylozoistic neural computation and derelict electronics. Recent projects include engram_extraction, a hypothetical experiment into extracting and recording the biophysical and/or biochemical imprints of events on memory; and several failed attempts at breeding basilisks, mythical reptiles with a lethal gaze or breath, hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg. He disseminates these experiments via his noise=noise / nnnnn platform for live events and workshops currently based in Ipswich UK, and via a PhD thesis being completed at the School Of Creative Media in Hong Kong.
> http://ryanjordan.org/
> http://nnnnn.org.uk/
> Sarah Simpson
> Sarah Simpson holds as Master's Degree in the History of Art from University College London and a Bachelor's Degree in both Art History and Archaeology from Cornell University. Originally from Binghamton, NY, she currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Sarah has held a range of positions in the art world including Curatorial Assistant, Gallery Manager, and, most recently, Publicist. She's worked in The Whitney Museum of American Art, BRIC, Didier Aaron, and Blue Medium. Sarah has a personal blog, as well, where she writes about exhibitions and theoretical concepts that strike her interest, such as museum gift shops (which are absolutely fascinating): https://ecloart.wordpress.com/   
> Gianluca Pulsoni
> Gianluca Pulsoni is a Ph.D. student in the Romance Studies Department of Cornell University (Italian section). He holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, with a thesis on Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi's cinema and exhibitions. He is a contributing writer to the Italian newspaper, Il Manifesto -- its cultural pages and weekly, Alias. Also, he has experience working with digital companies and publishing houses in Italy as editor and translator.
> all the best
> Junting
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

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