The Noise and the Signal
The Noise and the Signal: A common definition in music, especially in electronic music, where ‘noise’ is normally simply a signal that you don’t want. In science and technology, noise is that which one has to get rid of, in order to gain a clear signal, but the very definition of ‘noise’ is also permanently questioned, in order to allow new invention: what is significant as signal, and why? In society, ‘signal’ would distinguish a relevant sign from irrelevance, or a valid voice from an illegitimate one. The relation of noise to signal, in modern societies, describes the ways in which the initially chaotic ‘social hyroglyph’ (James C. Scott) is turned into legible signals by means of bureaucratic procedures, surveys, statistics and science. With regards to modern societal order, in the face of ever-increasing availability of data and media-channels, the shifting relation between signal and noise has become one of the key sites of transformation, not least in governance. As a separate program, the Biennial will feature several music contributions, organized by composer and musician Nicholas Bussman with collaborators from China.