The Politics of Aural Space

Original Publication:

“Silence is the ultimate weapon of power”

Charles De Gaulle (18th President of the French Republic)

“Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing,” said Bill Ayers. “I wasn’t a terrorist […] I just wanted to propagate the piercing sound of disobedience.” When art was recognised as part of life, making noise had to become a way of engaging in politics. Consequently, noise in art could only be an element of subversion, and noise itself an absolute dissonance, a metaphorical opposition to virtually every known form of social organisation. Noise could be seen as a counter-power strategy, but if we were to create a new political model it was not enough to simply learn how to make noise – we had to learn how to listen to it.