Institut ACTE (Sorbonne Paris 1 & CNRS) & ENS Louis-Lumière:
December 4 and 5, 2014 – Cité du Cinéma
Within the framework of the transversal research program in sound arts at the Institut ACTE (Sorbonne Paris 1 & CNRS), and in partnership with the ENS Louis-Lumière, a conference is being organized for December 4 and 5, 2014, at the Cité du Cinéma: Bruits (Noises).
Certain environmental or „installationist“ creations, along with certain performances or concerts, have thematized the question of noise, presenting it as the ambivalent aspect of music and of all sounds organized for communication and aesthetic pleasure. Noise, understood as the „sonic unformed,“ in allusion to Georges Bataille („Informe,“ documents 7, December 1929), can thus have a performative value that amounts to preventing the „aesthetic“ assimilation of the objects classified under that rubric by altering the grids and structures for the reception of exhibitions or shows. Noise is then the very symbol of the unformed, the unverifiable, the non-hierarchized. This conference will seek to determine its subjects and techniques, its forms, functions, and uses, including those within a culturally administered context, with a plural approach that reflects the plural usage in the title.
The conference will be organized in half-days devoted to transversal themes that promote interdisciplinarity. The scholarly facet will be accompanied by exhibitions, performances, and workshops.
The four general lines of inquiry described below sketch out a tentative work plan, whose architecture will evolve in light of the proposals received.
- The first line would endeavor to grasp noise in terms of its resistance not only to the urge for systematization but also to taxonomic strategies, considering its potential disruption of these efforts through impurities, mixtures, excesses, rumblings, and dissonances.
- The second line would address the history of noise up to its contemporary manifestations, particularly from the perspective of its symbolic functions, its sensible regimes, and its political or even economic stakes, whether it is filtered, accepted, reified, or even essentialized, either as a musical anti-model or an adopted stance.
- The third line would encompass all types of disorder-ranging from the new poietics of noise, where noise is the central feature that feeds, supports, or fashions the works; to the musical genres of noise, grindcore, or industrial; and to experimental and improvised musics and noise performances: configurations outside the norm, escaping all classification by virtue of their fictions, diversions, games, detours, destructions.
- The fourth line would propose an ecological approach to noise in its relations to place; its connections not only with architecture, the environment, and nature but also with society and subjectivity; and, more generally, its essence as the link between music, sound, and the world: the background noise of civilization; sound archives; field recordings.
Contributions may be in the form of lectures, installations, or performances. The formal proposal must consist of a summary of no more than one page, accompanied by a short biography of the author (a website address alone will not suffice) and a list of technical specifications (for installations and performances) containing all the links necessary to give a full understanding of the project (website, visual and sound documents of the proposed piece); it should also note any potential requirement for transportation or lodging.
These materials should be emailed to Gérard L. Pelé at the following address:
(program selections will begin on March 31, 2014).
Proceedings of the conference are expected to be published in 2015; the publication will include articles drawn from the lectures and documentation of the installations and performances. Contributions selected by the academic committee that could not be included in the conference will be published in the online journal L’Autre musique, no. 4 (to appear in the first half of 2015), and possibly in print as a complement to the conference proceedings; note that the digital publication will allow inclusion of audio and video, as well as other interactive, multimedia forms.
Conference Academic Committee
François Bonnet, member of GRM / INA, member of the Institut ACTE, teacher at Paris 1
Frédéric Mathevet, visual and sound artist, member of the Institut ACTE, founder of the journal LAM, art teacher
Célio Paillard, artist researcher, member of the Institut ACTE, founder of the journal LAM, art teacher
Gérard L. Pelé, director of the transversal program in sound arts at the Institut ACTE, university professor at the ENS Louis-Lumière
Matthieu Saladin, editorial director of the journal TACET, member of the Institut ACTE, professor at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin
Hélène Singer, visual artist, member of the Institut ACTE, art teacher at Paris 1 and at the Université de Lille