Remember the ephemeral, somewhat out-worldly sound installation Navigating Noise? This artwork by artist Kerstin Ergenzinger and physicist Thomas Laepple was on view at A Tale of a Tub in 2016 during the exhibition Acts of Orientation. The installation provided the framework for the publication Navigating Noise: a collection of academic and artistic contributions that address the need for alternative means of orientation to deal with noise and to understand and (re)establish our unstable position within a highly technologized, mediated, and globalized reality.
Navigating Noise means getting off the beaten track in order to find, or rather, to create something new. This publication is the result of such unconventional navigations, which follow the track of noise on its path across art, science, and the humanities. These navigations cover a broad terrain of research: from the starry skies to the deep oceans, from the ice cores of Greenland to sonic navigation in the animal kingdom, from spatial acoustics in World War I to noise music. Through a multidisciplinary approach, Navigating Noise paves the way for unexpected connections between research domains located at the border of knowing and not knowing. This endeavour tries to dig through and below existing semantic and epistemic systems. The contributors scrutinize the binary dichotomies of noise/information, noise/meaning, and noise/silence in order to reconfigure the relational framework that is constituted by these dichotomies. Released from this, noise no longer serves as the unwanted, semantic-free, and inefficient antithesis that should be discarded, but rather embodies a dynamic, unpredictable, yet constitutive force with which we can soar towards more agile forms of sonic sense production. Noise is the dynamic condition of the possibility for any form of meaning. It is through the navigation of noise that we are – figuratively speaking – able to ‘know’.
Starting with the artwork Navigating Noise as a space of artistic research, artist Kerstin Ergenzinger, scientist Thomas Laepple, and A Tale of a Tub’s director Nathanja van Dijk laid the foundations for this publication with their long-term interdisciplinary research project Acts of Orientation, resulting in an exhibition at Schering Stiftung (Berlin, 2015) and A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam, 2016). The conference of the same name that they organized in collaboration with the research group “Analog Storage Media” research group of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung Cluster of Excellence, which took place in May 2015 at Humboldt University, has also found its way into this publication in the form of numerous contributions.
Edited by: Nathanja van Dijk, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Christian Kassung, Sebastian Schwesinger
With contributions by:
African Noise Foundation, Lino Camprubí, Nathanja van Dijk, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Felix Gerloff, Paul Hegarty, Seth Horowitz, Tim Ingold, Eleni Ikoniadou, Christian Kassung, Brandon LaBelle, Thomas Laepple, Patricia Pisters, Sebastian Schwesinger, Martin Skrydstrup
Koehorst in’t Veld
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Berlin
Kunstwissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Volume No. 54, 2017