----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
Dear all,

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 subversive?

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:

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.

Yours truly,

phantasmata and illusions

empyre forum

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