This week our investigation of noise brings us to the work of Bernhard Siegert.
Drawing on Shannon, Serres and Derrida, Siegert argues that noise is the result of certain “cultural techniques” (Kulturtechnichen). Siegert presents an analysis of noise as through studies of the historiography of Roman engravings in Turkey, Kafka’s dreams of telephoning antiquity, and theatrical works for radio based on information theory.
The basic operation of those cultural techniques responsible for processing the distinction between nature and culture, or barbarism and civilization, is a filtering operation. If the goal of communication processes—be it breaking bread or breaking silence—is to establish social ties by means of transcending matter and turning it into a sign, then this sign first has to be produced in the technical real. (42)
We meet as usual in the Pierre Gorman Rm, 1888 Building, at 5:00 pm.
[PDF] Siegert, B. (2008). Cacography or Communication? Cultural Techniques in German Media Studies. Grey Room, 29, 26-47.