In film sound, noise is usually what needs to be reduced to create a more nuanced and realistic sound design, what needs to be eliminated to leave behind a clean and immersive audioscape. But what happens when we begin with noise as its own generative and creative force? The cacophony of the modern city, for example, can be read as noise pollution, or festive renao 熱鬧 that forms the identity of that particular space. Perhaps our ears are attuned to the music of the streets and theaters; but our bodies receive the noise around it, its constant hum and tangible, material presence. In fact, without noise, you might argue that there is no signal. Mass communication systems from the very beginning have been built around the interplay of noise and redundancy. With the digital turn, analog noise has become the vanishing horizon that not only artists, but music consumers chase and attempt to reproduce. Hence it behooves us to consider noise as a force within media aesthetics, media affect, and the history of media technology.
The Journal of Chinese Cinemas invites papers for a special issue that considers noise in terms of its environmental and musical dimensions, sound theory, and media materiality and aesthetics. We are hoping to assemble a group of articles with broad historical and geographic spread--work on all Chinese-speaking media cultures is welcome. Abstracts for the issue will be due by August 16th; decisions will be announced in early September with an anticipated deadline for full drafts (6,000 and 8,000 words) on December 31, 2021. Please limit your abstracts to 250-300 words and include a brief author biography with your submission, sent to email@example.com.
Evelyn Shih, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, CU Boulder
Julia Keblinska, PhD Candidate, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley