Noise Matters: Towards an Ontology of Noise
Everyone knows what noise is. Or do they? Can we in fact say that one man’s noise is another teenager’s music? Is noise in fact only an auditory phenomenon or does it extend far beyond this realm? If our common definitions of noise are necessarily subjective and noise is not just unpleasant sound, then it merits a closer look (or listen).
Greg Hainge sets out to define noise in this way, to find within it a series of operations common across its multiple manifestations that allow us to apprehend it as something other than a highly subjective term that tells us very little. Examining a wide range of texts, including Sartre’s novel Nausea and David Lynch’s iconic films Eraserhead *and *Inland Empire, Hainge investigates some of the Twentieth Century’s most infamous noisemongers to suggest that they’re not that noisy after all; and it finds true noise in some surprising places. The result is a thrilling and illuminating study of sound and culture.