[ISEA2016] Themes: Noise Contra Signal


Modern communication technologies aim to minimize noise in signals, privileging ’purity’ in the transmission of information. The quality of digital representations are judged by the minimisation of noise and artefacts. Media transmitted across the network spawn countless identical copies, such that the notion of any ’original’ signal is no longer relevant. This sub-theme invites participants to question this paradigm, foregrounding noise (margin) over signal (center), the mutation over the exact copy, and the unexpected over the predictable. Why have interactions between humans and computers proven so often to be noisy and unexpected, rather than smooth and predictable? How, as theorists and practitioners, can we act as accumulators and curators of such disturbance, leveraging new forms of noise in networked culture? How can we inject creative and critical noise into dominant cultural signals, obfuscating their ’original’ con/in/tent and imbuing them with new meanings?

Dr. Damien Charrieras, Track Chair