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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. This essay considers “noise” in light of enfolding-unfolding aesthetics, a model in which the infinite, information, and images (considered multisensory) respectively enfold and unfold from one another, in ever-changing relationships. According to this model, which is informed by the philosophy of Leibniz, Bergson, and Deleuze, our perception selectively unfolds some aspect of the infinite, but most of the infinite appears as noise. However, a sort of quantitative filter often predetermines what we perceive, so that what we end up perceiving is the product of information; moreover, this often occurs in the service of profit. The essay proposes ways to avoid both the paralysis of all-noise and the strangulation of all-information through creatively deploying enfolding-unfolding aesthetics in art and everyday life.

Keywords: aesthetics, perception, noise, materiality, infinite, information, image, fold, enfolding, unfolding

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