[-empyre-] Fragments of Noise

Noralyn Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Fri Mar 30 16:12:58 AEDT 2018


Hi Christof and Stirling,

Christof, as always your writing is so visceral and thought-provoking. I like how your point below avoids a binary dichotomy between noise and silence, between noise and sound, between human and more than human:

> Pushing that further, perhaps noise is the quintessential hyphenating
> agent, it impedes purity, resists totalization (Serre¹s Parasite comes to
> mind).
> 
> Can it therefore be both a human notion which functions as an arbitrary
> category (as pointed out by Murat Nemet-Nejat in his post from March 21)
> and also one that covers ³the fluctuations of the universe that are beyond
> our complete understanding² (Nicholas Knouf, March 22 post)? The latter
> formulation easily collapses into the former since it relies on the limits
> of our understanding to determine what lies beyond it.
 

And Stirling,

Thanks for Winnie the Pooh. This chimes in with Michael Taussig’s wonderful essay, “Humming,” in the Voice anthology  (that I edited with Ross Gibson and Theo van Leeuwen):

Bees hum. So does the traffic out my window five stories down, except for early morning when the garbage truck shrieks and groans, lifting and grinding,compressing and thumping. Interstitial sounds are they, bees and car and even the shrieker, sounds that fill the void, sounds that don’t really count, background, we might say, stuff for the likes of John Cage, who had trouble with the line demarcating sound from music. A dog whimpers and twitches in its sleep. The wind hums through the trees and the river has a humming, cruising sound that never stops as it runs over the rapids when I go upstate to the land without traffic or the shrieker. And then there’s the pretty much continuous ringing in my ears, the ur-hum, the movement of the warm blood through the inner ear, that blends with the outside world so as to form the one great hum of the great bumblebee. (303)

beest

Norie

> On 28 Mar 2018, at 12:04 AM, Stirling Newberry <stirling.newberry at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> "Winnie-the-Pooh That buzzing noise means something. Now, the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you are…a bee! And the only reason for being a bee is to make honey. And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it."
> 
> Not all references to noise are unexplainable,  even a child's book realizes that a "noise"  is, in fact, understandable as belonging to a set.
> 
> The clearest of this with volcanoes,  who have 2 distinct categories of wavelike structure -  sine wave structure,  which is the normalized wave -  and noise like structure which means that the film is tearing out new cisterns in preparation for eruption. The 2nd class is predictable,  and without which there would be no volcano, an sich.  So while there are numerous examples of "noise"  as unpredictable,  there are at least some,  including when we were children,  which point in different directions.  There are examples in  Natural Geoscience of how noise-like structures predict eruptions.
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 8:38 PM Christof Migone <cmigone at uwo.ca <mailto:cmigone at uwo.ca>> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> ³Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, we¹d like to remind you that we don¹t
> applaud in this here place where we¹re working. So, restrain your
> applause. If you must applaud wait until the end of the set and it won¹t
> even matter then. The reason is that we are interrupted by your noise. In
> fact, don¹t even take any drinks, or no cash register ringing, etcetera.
> I¹d like to introduce the musicians...²
> 
> - Charles Mingus, intro to ³Folk Forms, No. 1² on the album Charles Mingus
> Presents Charles Mingus (1960).
> 
> What is remarkable about the above is that the audience is imaginary, this
> is a studio recording where Mingus wanted his musicians to play like they
> played live. The noise of the audience is silent. Noise imaginary. So even
> when absent, ³noise is being asked to do a lot of work.² (David X.
> Borgonjon, March 8 post to empyre)
> 
> (https://drjazzdotlive.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/classic-revisited-charles-m
> ingus-presents-charles-minguscandid/ <https://drjazzdotlive.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/classic-revisited-charles-mingus-presents-charles-minguscandid/>)
> 
> -----------
> 
> The first sentence of Bring the Noise by Claire Bishop and Boris Groys
> used to go as follows: ³As well as bring noted for their avant-garde
> painting, the Futurists¹ performances were legendary for their intent to
> provoke and scandalise the public.² Unfortunately, the typo has since been
> fixed: ³As well as being noted for their avant-garde painting, the
> Futurists¹ performances were legendary for their intent to provoke and
> scandalise the public.²
> (http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/bring-noise <http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/bring-noise>)
> 
> -----------
> 
> There is a link to be made between failure and noise, and thereby the
> aesthetics of both.
> 
> Pushing that further, perhaps noise is the quintessential hyphenating
> agent, it impedes purity, resists totalization (Serre¹s Parasite comes to
> mind).
> 
> Can it therefore be both a human notion which functions as an arbitrary
> category (as pointed out by Murat Nemet-Nejat in his post from March 21)
> and also one that covers ³the fluctuations of the universe that are beyond
> our complete understanding² (Nicholas Knouf, March 22 post)? The latter
> formulation easily collapses into the former since it relies on the limits
> of our understanding to determine what lies beyond it.
> 
> 
> 
> -----------
> 
> Caitlin Woolsey brought up the noises of the body in her March 9 post.
> That is where noise appeared first for me. As a non-musician using sound
> as material, the body is a readymade instrument. One of its most
> interesting characteristic is that it cannot be played, it cannot be
> controlled. Well, at least some of its functions cannot. What I mean is
> that the sounds it produces are not always predictable. No matter how
> trained a voice might be, the voice is dependent on fallible organic
> circuitry. Some of my recording projects have featured body sounds that
> are less compliant, less trainable than the voice. I¹m thinking mainly
> South Winds (Oral, 2001) and Crackers (Locust, 2000). The former echoes
> with Norie Neumark¹s evocation of putrefaction in her March 20 post.
> 
> 
> -----------
> 
> Joo Yun Lee¹s provocative presentation of Ikeda¹s work (March 19 post),
> namely its ³rich absence of contents² is one that I cannot help wanting to
> oppose. The plunge into the sensorium veers too easily into vacuous
> entretainment. But I appreciate being challenged to think through and
> question my own desire for content, strive for meaning. The recurring
> signal to noise dichotomies several posts have identified do limit the
> discussion, so this piqued my interest as offering a potential way out.
> 
> -----------
> 
> Tracking the appearance of the word Œnoise¹ in my Sonic Somatic:
> Performances of the Unsound Body book (Errant Bodies Press, 2012) I
> noticed that  the majority stem from quotes.
> 
> Culled just a few of the more pithy ones:
> 
> ³There is no silence. Your mind makes noise.² (Bruce Nauman)
> ³The word silence is still a noise² (Georges Bataille)
> ³The body ignores silence.² (Henri Chopin)
> 
> -----------
> 
> Jumping to silence and listening (brought up Murat in his comment on the
> Serres quotes, by Norie, and Sarah Simpson). Given the impossibility of
> the former and the subjectivity of the latter, where do the two meet? Only
> in the realm of ethics and politics? (Perhaps that¹s enough and plenty).
> 
> -----------
> 
> Murat, what of the subjectivity implicit in the act of wanting to, as you
> put it, liberate noise from the subjectivity that humans impose on it?
> 
> -----------
> 
> Christof
> 
> 
> 
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