Immersion Into Noise

by Joseph Nechvatal

Series: Critical Climate Change

ISBN 978-1-60785-241-4

The noise factor is the ratio of signal to noise of an input signal to that of the output signal. Noise can block or interfere with the meaning of a message in both human and electronic communication. But in Information Theory, noise is still considered to be information.

By refining the definition of noise as that which addresses us outside of our preferred comfort zone, Joseph Nechvatal's Immersion Into Noise investigates multiple aspects of cultural noise by applying the audio understanding of noise to the visual, architectural and cognitive domains. Nechvatal expands and extends our understanding of the function of cultural noise by taking the reader through the immersive and phenomenal aspects of noise into algorithmic and network contexts, beginning with his experience in the Abside of the Grotte de Lascaux.

Immersion Into Noise is intended as a conceptual handbook useful for the development of a personal-political-visionary art of noise. On a planet that is increasingly technologically linked and globally mediated, how might noises break and re-connect in distinctive and productive ways within practices located in the world of art and thought? That is the question Joseph Nechvatal explores in Immersion Into Noise.

"While most people would naturally think of noise as an audio-only disturbance, in Immersion Into Noise, digital artist and theoretician Joseph Nechvatal takes us on a rowdy conversional ride through a series of audio, visual, spatialized, and networked 'art noises'."

Yuting Zou – read the full review at The Brooklyn Rail

Author Bio

Since 1986, Joseph Nechvatal has worked with ubiquitous electronic visual information, computers and computer-robotics. His computer-robotic assisted paintings and computer software animations are shown regularly in galleries and museums throughout the world. From 1991-1993 he worked as artist-in-resident at the Louis Pasteur Atelier and the Saline Royale / Ledoux Foundation's computer lab in Arbois, France on The Computer Virus Project: an experiment with computer viruses as a creative stratagem. In 2002, he extended that artistic research into the field of viral artificial life through his collaboration with the programmer Stéphane Sikora. Joseph Nechvatal earned his Ph.D. in the philosophy of art and new technology at The Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) University of Wales College, Newport, UK. Dr. Nechvatal presently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City (SVA). His book of essays Towards an Immersive Intelligence: Essays on the Work of Art in the Age of Computer Technology and Virtual Reality (1993-2006) was published by Edgewise Press in 2009.