Incidental sound is synonymous to noise: ARL breaks the mold of incidental sound away from the Handbook to the more subjective applications and characteristics of noise. Noise has the ability to disruptively transform our perception and presents itself as a complex model of communication. Noise is the unwanted by-product of events and actions taking place, and in the electrical domain, noise is the irregular fluctuations that accompany a transmitted electrical signal but are not part of it, and in musical terms — pitch-less sound. However, in terms of information, the following definition allows for a more flexible approach: noise is the presence of many signals (more than one), or the lack thereof; both are practical states of information. This binary flexibility allows us to embrace the complexity of noise in different ways. One such way is, noise as a self-sustaining communicative non-communicating art. Joseph Nechvatal discusses this notion in his book, Immersion Into Noise, where he proposes to “entertain a non-communicating art of noise as an aesthetic act which communicates intricately.” Affection Research Lab seeks to transform the seemingly meaninglessness of noise into something meaningful.
Noise is a self-sustaining form of information. ARL poetically explores this communicative model of noise transcending into contexts albeit, productive experiences. This transcendence doesn’t occur immediately. It requires the development of attention to details both at the macro and micro levels of perception — a constant teetering at the cusp of comprehension and sensation. Immanuel Kant describes the sublime feeling as “a kind of ‘rapid alternation’ between the fear of the overwhelming and the peculiar pleasure of seeing that overwhelming overwhelmed.” In relation, Brian Massumi describes Felix Guattari’s view of micro- perceptions, “micro-perception is not smaller perception; it’s a perception of a qualitatively different kind. It’s something that is felt without registering consciously … Microperception is this purely affective re-beginning of the world.” When delving into the nuances of microperceptions, we become affectively invested as we are challenged to overcome the overwhelming nature of the great initial perception: “Is this my device?”