Friday, 18 January 2013

MMP Grad Prog talk: Productive Parasites

Wednesday 23 January:
Guest Speaker: Marie Thomspson (University of Newcastle)
Productive Parasites: Thinking of Noise as Affect
This paper seeks to provide a more nuanced explanation for noise that distinguishes itself from prevailing negative narratives, which define noise as unwanted, undesirable, or damaging sound. It will be shown that such definitions have left noise vulnerable to an aesthetic moralism, which works to construct noise as a ‘bad’ to silence’s ‘good’. In order to overcome some of the insufficiencies and impasses of subject-oriented and object-oriented definitions - noise as a judgement of sound or noise as a type of sound - this paper will characterise noise as an affect with effects. Noise-as-affect refuses stable associations with subjects or objects; it has an existence that is autonomous from and irreducible to its particular manifestations. Moreover, noise-as-affect does not pertain to an overarching division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’; there is nothing inherently ‘bad’ about noise; rather, its status as such is relational and contingent. Thus thinking of noise in terms of affect allows for noise’s capacity to not only diminish and destroy, but also enhance and create; it allows for, as the composer Henry Cowell labels it, ‘the Joys of Noise’. As a means of conclusion, this paper will consider the implications of an affective noise definition for an aesthetics of noise. 

Marie Thompson is a PhD candidate at Newcastle University, based in the International Centre for Music Studies. Her research considered the ethical and aesthetic implications of thinking about noise in relation to affect. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming collection Sound, Music, Affect: Theorising Sonic Experience (Continuum, 2013). Marie is also a musician. She plays solo as Tragic Cabaret, and as part of the groups Ghostly Porters, J.G. Bollard and Beauty Pageant

MediaCity, Third Floor, Space Two. 4.10-5pm. (Anyone needs to be signed in / can't find the room, please wait in reception for 4pm).

Drinks after, everyone welcome... hope to see you there!

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