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Semiotics Joke! ****

Happy New Year Folks!

“Language [as] Meta-Technology” ****

Exhibition dates, Weds 21 Nov to Sun 2 Dec 2018
Fri to Sun 12 to 5pm (or by appointment)
Launch event, Sat 24 Nov, 6pm to 9pm
Closing event, Sun 2 Dec, 3pm to 5pm

Sluice HQ (formerly Vision Signs)
171 Morning Lane
Hackney Central
London E9 6JY

The philosopher C.W. Morris defined semiotics as “the science of signs”, the writer Umberto Eco stated that “semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie”, and the telecommunications theorist Colin Cherry stated that “information can be received only where there is doubt”. For the first instalment of the Passen-gers project off-site series, electronic music and installation art project Disinformation visits the Sluice HQ exhibition space – the former workshop of Vision Signs, a former commercial sign-maker in Hackney, East London – to present a series of audio-visual exhibits, archival presentations and installation artworks. The book “Rorschach Audio – Art & Illusion for Sound” states that “the earliest form of sound recording technology was not a machine but was written language”, and the “Language as Meta-Technology” installation uses a variety of speech recording, speech synthesis, psychoacoustics research and speech coding technologies to articulate (among other propositions) the hypothesis that “language is the technology that contains all others”.

Best Instagram –

Passen-gers Offsite –

Exhibition Guide –

“Rorschach Audio” on BBC Radio 4

Click to listen –

Also (apparently) excerpted on Radio 4 “Pick of the Week”

“National Grid” – live at Fort Process 2018

Disinformation + Voces Castrum – live in the tunnels under Newhaven Fort

Deep bass audio – headphones essential ****

Disinformation – live at Fort Process 2018

Fort Process is an extraordinary one day sonic arts and music festival that utilises the unique resonant spaces of Newhaven Fort. This third edition of Fort Process, curated by Lost Property, features performances, installations, talks, workshops and live art, from a massive line-up of contributors, including Adam Basanta, AJA, Alice Eldridge + Chris Kiefer, Ana Gutieszca, Automatic Writing Circle, Bartosz Dylewski, Bell Lungs, Blanc Sceol, Bunty, Cécile Chevalier + Chris Kiefer, Copper Sounds, Dan Powell, Daniel W J Mackenzie, David Thomas Broughton, Dirk Campbell, Disinformation, Fay Burnett, Fiery Biscuits String Section, Frances Young, Grischa Lichtenberger, Guoda Dirzyte, Isn’tses, Jack Lister, Jamie Ward, Jason Hotchkiss, Jeph Vanger, Jez Riley French + Pheobe Riley Law, Jez Stevens, Jobina Tinnemans, Joe Banks, Jordan Edge, Joshua Legallienne, Julian Weaver, Kathy Hinde + Matthew Olden, Katie McCallum + Karl M.V. Waugh, KiRa + Accord, Kyoka, Louise Mackenzie, Map 71, Maria Marzaioli, Mark Anderson, Marlo Eggplant, Más Hangok, Max Eastley, Mike Blow, Mysterious Monopole, Ned Rush, New Interpretations Orchestra, Nicholas Ritson, Niko Karlsson, ORE, Pickett Improv, Redhookgrainterminal, Rhombos, Rhys Chatham, Rie Nakajima, Ritual Extra, Sam Hewitt, Semiconductor, Shatner’s Bassoon, Silence Blossoms, Slow Listener, Stephan Barrett + Adam Kinsey, Tap/Sew, Tasos Stamou, Tetsuya Umeda, The Larsens, UKAEA, Ursula Damm, Voces Castrum and Well Hung Game. “Rorschach Audio” lecture demonstration at 2:30pm [sharp] + “National Grid” sound installation running through the day, including live collaboration with Renaissance polyphony ensemble Voces Castrum, in the deep tunnels at 5:00pm.

22 Sept 2018 – 12 midday to 11pm

Fort Process 2018
Newhaven Fort
Fort Road
East Sussex BN9 9DS

Programme download –

“Babakiueria” and the Politics of Listening

Disinformation’s chums in Melbourne – the excellent Liquid Architecture – who hosted the Rorschach Audio events at the Monash University Museum of Art and Gertrude Contemporary in 2015, have since organised several more events themed around mishearing… most recently a presentation by Jennifer Stoever on “Soni­fy­ing Race, Surveilling Space: the Sonic Color Line and the Lis­ten­ing Ear” (coming up August 25, see link). According to the mail-out, “Soni­fy­ing Race” focusses on experiences from the United States. In terms of Australian experience, similar themes were sent-up in the spoof documentary “Babakiueria”, by Don Featherstone, starring Bob Maza (President of the Aborigines Advancement League) back in 1986. Enjoy!

FYI the joke may have been inspired by the (since de-bunked) myth about this author’s namesake Sir Joseph Banks (no relation) and the word “kanguru”.

Thanks to Pete Reeves (from the University of Sydney) for the heads-up (see you next year mate)

Marshall McLuhan – “Advertising is the folk art of the 20th century”

Marshall McLuhan’s axiom that [5:27 into the video] “advertising is the folk art of the 20th century” (which, in fact, is a quotation that he responds to rather than directly articulates in this interview) is prescient enough, though in some ways his preceding statement, about the nature of reading, is even more interesting. Marshall McLuhan asserts that “the word to read means to guess…” and that “reading is actually an activity of rapid guessing” [4:33].

Etymologically speaking McLuhan is spot-on – the word “read” does (as he says) derive from the Old English rǣdan (from the Dutch raden, and the German raten) meaning to “advise” or “guess”; so the history of language corroborates the idea that our minds deploy “perceptual hypotheses” or intelligent guesswork to decode streams of text and speech (see the “Rorschach Audio” book pages 43, 46 and 167 etc).

Given what the “Rorschach Audio” book says about how “the earliest form of sound recording technology was not a machine but was written language” (page 96), it’s no surprise that the neural strategies employed in “reading” both speech and text are so closely related. From a public-understanding-of-science point-of-view however, the most striking feature of this interview is that when Marshall McLuhan puts forward this idea, it’s received as so improbable and outlandish that some members of the audience actually laugh [4:50]. +

Joe Banks, 20 June 2018

Yanny or Laurel – Audio Illusion

The following story was discussed under the heading “Technology” in The Guardian, but originally appeared under the heading “Black Magic Fuckery” on social media! +  [Thanks to J.R.]

The Unexplainers, Beast Spirit 450

Damien Hirst and Goldsmiths College

The idea that “genius steals” is an urban myth –

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