Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Noise Explained

The post below was the result of an impromptu lesson to my five year old son on Microsoft Word. I was working (writing...That's work right?) when he came into the room and sat on my knee, watching what I was doing. He has become incredible interested in writing, letters, the alphabet and numbers lately. I showed him how one may change the font size of the words in Word. The last word I had typed was noise because I have been thinking a lot lately about Noise, especially in light of this statement:

"Thus, the grinding sound of power relations is heard here in the way noises 'contain' the other, in both senses of the word. Noises are informed by the sounds, languages and social position of others. It is only because certain types of people are outside any representation of social harmony that their speech and other sounds associated with them are considered to be noise. In the process of appropriation these others are subjected to forms of containment they have already known in other less semiotic exercises."
Douglas Kahn. Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Voice, Sound, and Aurality in the Arts (Cambridge MIT Press 1999) 47

So moving right along, I have as well become interested in Derrida's 'Trace', the movement created through that which is outside the subject is in fact that which defines the subject. (I read yesterday that blasphemy greatly strengthens the sacred). So noise in all its forms, as sound, as annoybehavioriour, as confusing advertising, as misunderstood phrases or unknown languages, are the shadows cast by our centers.

So after I had blown up 'Noise'to 125 points with it highlighted in black I thought I would show my son how a word can become a picture as well. A screenshot and over to photoshop and there it was. Noise. It bears thinking about.

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