Silence / Signal / Noise: A Workshop on Noise in Our Spaces
Silence / Signal / Noise is a combined talk and listening workshop which uses listening meditation, groupwork and discussion to uncover personal insight into the impact of noise in our physical and digital spaces.
In the 2010 book Program or Be Programmed, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff highlights the need for the individual to learn how to code. The ‘new literacy of the digital age’, coding enables ‘access to the control panel of civilisation’, without which the individual becomes a passive bystander in a society and culture shaped by a privileged few. This imbalance of control, and dis-heartening societal passivity in the face of systemic global crises, seems to only deepen over time.
Yet as a composer working with spatial sound, I would argue that learning to listen- cultivating our capacity to detect and respond to signals in our physical and digital spaces- is as important for shaping our future as any line of code. Both physical and psychological practice, listening as a discipline allows us to tune into a sensitivity rarely afforded in the bustle of our daily lives, and the stupefying noise of our socialised (and programmed) mediascapes. Listening is a discipline that encourages receptivity, openness and a capacity for empathic response- a place from which our entire decision making process is refreshed, our expectations of interactions and experiences is reimagined, and a new lens for considering current challenges is made available.
Silence/ Signal/ Noise was first hosted as part of Goldsmiths University of London's Against The Slow Cancellation of The Future Conference, and later presented at CTM Festival Berlin 2018 and Reeperbahn Festival 2017.