Noise and Nothingness as Spaces of Creation
In the late 1980s Guy Debord noted the relationship between temporality, noise, and nihilism: “When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards, always replacing another, identical, immediacy it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee an eternity of noisy insignificance.”
''We analysed immediate reactions to a sudden 90-dB white noise in a semi-natural environment. We observed mixed-sex groups of rats for the 60 seconds preceding noise onset and the first 60 seconds of exposure. White noise elicited fear-specific behaviours hiding alone and huddling. It also increased exploratory and ambulatory behaviours, although only in the burrow zone farthest from the open area. Thus, in a semi-natural environment, white noise enhanced motor activity as a product of fear-induced general arousal''.
(Journal of Neuro-Endocrinology, October 2020, 32 (10) Olivia Le Moëne, Mayra Liliana Ramírez-Rentería, and Anders Ågmo.
'Fear is fear of what is unknown. It is not simply a reaction to the manifestly dangerous. Because the unknown is without mappable boundaries, there is also an inner spiral in fear which suspects, in the unknown, yet ever further circles of the unknown''. Aphonso Lingis, Foreign Bodies, III, p. 67.
'Nothing includes in itself all that is possible and impossible. A list of figures of Nothing according to Accademia deli Incogniti - voice, dream, beauty, time, dust, darkness, sleep.Nothingness does not itself have being, yet it is supported by being. It comes into the world from fullness of self-contained being, which allows consciousness to exist as such.Nothing means liberation from the self. Indications of Nothing being: Influence, Inspiration and Improvisation'. (Elisabeth Belgrano :Lasciatemi Morire, York, 2016 (?)
'End and goal. - Not every end is a goal. The end of a melody is not its goal; but nonetheless, if the melody had not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable.' - Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow
''Two centuries of militant positivism combated as superstition the beliefs of pre-scientific Europe. Having discredited as legends the creeds of the Aztecs, the Yoruba, and the Easter Islanders, Westerners destroyed their own religions with scientific scepticism. Science is now discarding and replacing its own cosmological and biological theories too rapidly for anyone to take the current representation of human nature, animal nature, and chemical and electromagnetic nature as true'. - Alphonso Lingis, Foreign Bodies, IV, pg 167-168.
''Countless spheres of [social living], with their distinctive autonomies and local textures, have disappeared or been standardized into online simulations. The internet complex is now the comprehensive global apparatus for the dissolution of society.' - Jonathon Crary: Socrched Earth, 2020. And here is Nick Felke's response to Crary - 'How do we create a better world? It starts with sharing information and cultures, which itself is not a new phenomenon. Society started with co-operation. COVID treatments and even the vaccine were developed more rapidly because of our ability to share. Transitioning from fossil fuels is happening faster than ever because resources can be shared. The author wrongly states that the Internet has made history incomprehensible, yet the exact opposite is true. The Internet is not a singular entity like a TV station. It cannot be handed off by design. It is an interconnectedness between computers in a graph, not a tree. If one node is removed, the rest remains. The author's sentiments are concerning, coming from a place of nativism and fear. People have always feared technology, and have feared the other. The worry about the dissolution of culture due to connecting 8 billion people reminds me of an alt-right rant that prioritizes selfishness over inclusion.''
Notice that though seemingly disagreeing, both Crary and Felke are worried about control. Compare Alan Watts, who values 'losing control' more positively -
''To go out of your mind at least once a day is tremendously important, because by going out of your mind you come to your senses. And if you stay in your mind all the time, you are over rational. In other words, you’re like a very rigid bridge which because it has got no give, no craziness in it, is going to be blown down in the first hurricane''. https://alanwatts.org/2-5-4-meditation/
[These] results are the core premises of what the European Human Rights Commission described in 1976 as a “modern system of torture” (McCoy 2006: 57). This modern system aims to combine “sensory disorientation”–isolation, standing, extremes of heat and cold, light and dark, noise and silence–with self inflicted pain, both physical and psychological, so as to cause a prisoner’s very “identity to disintegrate”. Whether that disintegration takes the form of induced regression (to infantile behaviour) or induced schizophrenia, “the effect is much like that which occurs if he is beaten, starved or deprived of sleep”. The prisoner becomes psychologically powerless before the authority of interrogators, both dependent and unable to resist. Moreover, the experimental data showed this 'modern system of torture to be much more efficient than beatings or starvation, producing psychological disintegration in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. […] theorists of the interrogation room focus on the capacity of sound and music to destroy subjectivity. There’s something here about the intersection of mind/body relationship with the distinction between private and public space, and the hierarchy of command and field operations, that I want eventually to think more about. […] The state’s interrogators share with many civilian musicians, composers and scholars the notion that listening to music can dissolve subjectivity, releasing a person into a paradoxical condition that is both highly embodied and almost disembodied in the intensity with which one forgets important elements of one’s identity, and loses track of time’s passing. The practices and ideologies of classical music listening suggest that such music-induced ecstasy is produced by intense attention to the relationships among the sounds themselves.' -
Cusick, Suzanne G. Cusick, ''Music as torture / Music as weapon'' Trans. Revista Transcultural de Música, 2006.
''Nothingness. The void. An absence of matter. The blank page. Utter silence. No thing, no thought,no awareness. Complete ontological insensibility. Shall we utter some words about nothingness? What is there to say. How to begin? How can anything be said about nothing without violating its very nature, perhaps even its conditions of possibility? Isn’t any utterance about nothingness always already a performative breach of that which one means to address? Have we not already said too much simply in pronouncing its name? Perhaps we should let the emptiness speak for itself.” (Barad 2012, p. 4).
'We live at a time when there has never been so much information around, and you can pick it up for free. It feels like we are on the edge of something world historical, a new age, But as Timothy Leary said - we might be a hundred times better educated than our grandparents, and ten times more sophisticated and open-minded that our parents, but it is chaos. There is no plan, no direction. Our minds are all dressed up but with nowhere to go'' (Robert Lenkiewicz).
''Such sterility, if we follow Heidegger‟s argument, is the natural and predictable outcome of a world of means without ends, where “the sense of significance and purpose has been eroded by the technological disclosure of beings and this same disclosure prevents further disclosive events of Being which might restore a more meaningful world.” In such a world, “human beings no longer have a home”, inhabiting a wasteland of nihilism in which an abyssal dimension cannot be ignored, one whereby “life appears to have no justification and is devoid of any necessity concerning reasons, values, or norms.” (Woodward, 2009: 65, 223).
The ardent pursuit of insomnia has been a method favoured by Saints and philosophers. Nick Land relates a sleepless Christmas writing blitz, during which he was convinced the neighbours were playing the same: ''repetitive refrain from next door – a mediocre but plausible rock rock whose insistent lyric centred around the words ''Going to hell''. In the car [I] listened to the radio for the whole journey. Each song was different, the genres varied, the quality seemed above average, the themes tending to the morbid. ''This is a cool radio station'' [he] said to his sister. ''The radio isn't on [his] sister replied, concerned. Land realised that in the interplay between the noise of the vehicle on the road and his unconscious, one could find the entire pop music industry. ''Nothing more was said about it. Why upset your family?'' (Nick Land, in 'Fanged Noumenon pp. 630-631).