On The Apparently Meaningless Texture of Noise (2019)

Binaural sound essay, developed for Akademie Solitude/ZKM as part of their Web Residencies program. Awarded with a production grant at the HASH AWARD 2020 conceded by ZKM/Akademie Solitude on February 21st, 2020.

All sounds recorded at EMS Stockholm between June and September 2019.

Listen to the sound essay: http://meaninglesstexture.schloss-post.com

A longer interview about the project and its outcomes can be read here.

and still, there is so much information in this noise

The essay starts from the use of so-called “dialect recognition software” in asylum procedures in Germany, challenging the narratives of care that surround it. In seeing the training datasets of this software as a rudimentary form of archive, the work explores the timbral matter of paraverbal “noise”, that is, all speech traits that are annotated in the database so that the system is trained to ignore them. The essay also creates its own counter-archive of voices and training documents circulated within the German Migration Authority field offices, concerning the dialect recognition software.

With that, the essay radically challenges the concept of “care” as connected to “humanitarian responses” to migration, while at the same time repurposing the idea of the “dataset” as a counter-strategy for new, affective connections to voice, constantly undone and redone with each access and interaction with them, against and beyond classification, taxonomization, or measurement.

This work was commissioned by the Digital Solitude Program of Akademie Schloss Solitude, and won the 2nd Prize of the HASH Award in 2020.

Schulung BAMF

“This is how the dispossessed […] organized [their] speech by weaving it into the apparently meaningless texture of extreme noise.”

– Édouard Glissant, “Caribbean Discourse” (1989)