Just a little note to showcase an event that Western Front organized this past weekend – Noise not Noise. The event featured “noise music” performances for three nights called the Fake Jazz festival (I wasn’t able to attend any of them) some keynote addresses and a day of public lectures. I was able to attend the public lectures part, which were two 2-hour panels. They were advertised as conversations about the role of noise in society, however, they were more like artist talks about the way they use noise in their work – visually, as well as sonically, interspersed with a couple of academic talks about noise as infinity vs. signal (?) as information (Dr. Laura Marks) and noise poetry as the semiotics of noise. I found myself trying desperately to pull something, anything out of these talks as significant to my own studies and work, but alas, there was very little for me. Great for the artists perhaps as it was artist-centric, but even so, I think the relationship of their topics to noise was at best arbitrary and at worst – ridiculous, such as the “noise” of psychopathy – delivered by a young UBC psychologist, I suppose meaning that psychopaths are so good at being socially appropriate that they leave this noise of confusion in their interactions with other people that is incoherent with the viciousness and severity of the crimes they commit. Sigh. Snore. Alas. I was somewhat more awoken in the second half as the preppy looking redheaded man in the panel (above) began performing a “noise poem” by a queer San Fransisco poet called Cunt Up. He actually had the most to say that was interesting and insightful about social and historical dimensions of what constitutes “noise”, however, too bad I already knew everything he said so I didn’t really learn anything new.
Noise not Noise has an ongoing artist website for showcasing noise art and noise music: http://front.nfshost.com/noisenotnoise/