Ghosts of Noise


A set of single or multi-channel installation works

by Sadia Sadia

UK | 2009-2011 | 20’00” loop | multi channel SD | multi channel surround audio

"'Ghosts of Noise’ could be called a reaction to, and comment on, the ‘aesthetics of the machine’, the machine, in this case, being the information-delivery complex" says Sadia.

"Some time during the course of the current world crises, I became interested in news. The cyclical and 24 hour nature of the delivery, alongside the multiplicity of delivery formats, combined to produce ever-increasing layers of disturbance, streams of facts, figures, voices and faces that layered themselves one upon the other to produce a ‘noise’ that permeated both my consciousness and psyche. The more aware I became of the ‘noise’ of information-delivery in my environment, the more the pressure, and level, seemed to build in my inner self, mind and ear.

"The only means of freeing myself from this phenomenon was to undergo a form of exorcism. I recorded a multitude of newscasters from the widest assortment of news channels available to me. I then layered the images one over the other, creating either ‘noise’ (from the news feeds), or ‘ghosts’ or ‘entities’ (out of the newscasters), a generic ‘everyman’ built out of a multiplicity of moving images. It was only on completion of this work that inner peace was restored. The entities, the beautiful and haunting ‘ghosts of noise’, had been sent out to occupy the world.

"The original work, ‘Static’, forms the genesis of the ‘noise’ pieces, and is built out of twenty four (24) layered news channels. The audio component for ‘Static’ comprises ninety six (96) layers of news broadcasters’ signature themes and two hundred and fifty six (256) layers of voices, comprising newscasters, interviewees, etc.

"The ‘Blend’ channel comprises some twenty (20) channels of male & female newsreaders, newscasters, and the occasional correspondent. The audio component for the work is two hundred and fifty-six (256) layers of voices drawn from newscasts.

"The ‘Male’ channel comprises six (6) channels of layered feeds of male newscasters, while the ‘Female’ channel also comprises six (6) channels of layered feeds of female newscasters. Both works have accompanying two hundred and fifty-six layer voice-based audio soundtracks, as above.

"The films can either be shown individually, as stand-alone single channel works, or in combination, to create an overwhelming sensory experience, a potentially powerful commentary on the pervasive and intrusive nature of the information-delivery complex."

The work was first workshopped during Sadia's 'Studio 18' visiting international artist residency program at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2009, and has since been developed as a multi-channel piece.

On June 10th & 11th 2015, ‘Ghosts of Noise’ was screened and discussed as part of the international colloquium ‘Les Devenirs Artistiques de L’Information’ at Sorbonne Paris, co-sponsored by Le Bauhaus-Universität Weimar & Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), the Birmingham Center for Media and Cultural Research, and ELICO Equipe de recherche de Lyon.




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