Digital Noise
In week 7 I gave you a very brief version of a lecture looking at noise and what role it plays in the digital, some brief notes:

Claude Shannon - looked at growing complexity of telephone systems
showed - that problem solving could be achieved by manipulating just two symbols: 1 and 0this could be automatic - electrical circuitsso using binary code and boolean algebra (algebra for binary 1 and 0)
paved way for digital circuitry

1948 - landmark paper
'A Mathematical Theory of Communication'
information theory was put on the map
defined 'binary digits' (or bits)
led to work on computer science, communication capacity, redundancy in language (how much do we need to hear to get the message), measuring of information

shannon_comminication_diagram.jpg

noise is the interference that impacts on a signal as it is transmitted from the source to the destination
noise - detrimental to the purity of the original signal
Shannon was an engineer, working to increase the efficiency of telephone wires
however - his ideas have also been used as a model of communication in a wider contextuse of 'transmission', or 'transport' as a significant metaphor for communication
this metaphor, noise in the enemy of transporting communication


We then looked at why this model might be unhelpful when considering communication

and concluded with:

development of digital technologies - once again noise is seen as a dysfunctional factor
Digital environments have been seen as a space in which perfect copies are made and transmitted
but David Weinberger in book 'Everything is Miscellaneous'
suggests that noise is where the world turns up
the use of Shannon's model - abstracted, formal, information
noise is the world refusing to be quiet
broadcast medium - one to many
broadcast medium can't contain difference
the web is really noisy (its strength & weakness)
but it contains difference'
'differential hermeneutic' an idea talked about by AKMA a theologian, he suggests the possibility of a 'noisy peace'
digital environment far from perfect
but the noise gives the view of the other
the other point of view creates the noise
noise & the other's view come together


Mark Hansen (Hansen, Mark. N. B. New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2004.)
suggests that to perceive a digital image it is necessary to have an 'embodied experience'
artistic digital practice shifts 'from perception to affectivity'a shift from 'a dominant ocularcentrist aesthetic to a haptic aesthetic rooted in embodied affectivity'
I think he means a shift from simple visual recognition, seeing something
shift to possibility at least - experiencing the moods, feelings of a piece of art - not least by physically interacting with it
Hansen suggests this is artist's effort to 'specify what remains distinctly ‘human’ in this age of digital convergence'


Conclusion - or final questions:

is there here a connection?
is digital noise and its negotiation the 'human' element?
if so, then it is very important as we negotiate the uncharted territory of digital environments