“Organized Noise” – an Afterthought




Paula at Lost in Translation kindly asked me to host a guest challenge which I gladly did because those challenges often entail great discussions. That’s what’s happening… Jo wondered if organizing noise was something like finding beauty in ugliness. I remarked that the phrase might also be understood as “ordering chaos” and then realized that this answer might make sense in more ways than I would have thought.

1. I was reminded of Michel Foucault’s L’ordre du discours, “The Order of Discourse.” Order/ordre seems to signify  system here, or disposal, also connoting terms like regulation or even directive.

According to Foucault, there is no knowledge to be had outside of Discourse. Discourse decides what can be said within reason and what cannot, and what form a proposition must have. By exerting this power, Discourse forces knowledge into existing: The ways in which we can think or speak about anything determine what we can know about these things.

2. I was also reminded of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, one of the masterworks of Modernity. Writing this novel, Döblin saw himself confronted with the problem of representing all the things happening simultaneously in a metropolis. As a solution, it seems, he chose the form of collage. And in one of the many essays that may be read as commentaries of his work, Döblin asks: “Was steigt in das Becken des Jetzt?” – “What will climb into the Pool of Now?”

Climbing into the Pool of Now: I love this metaphor! Today I get the impression that it is also a photographer’s (and an artist’s) question: What will be allowed to ‘climb’ into the picture – now?

Answering this question by releasing the shutter, we force pictures into being, pictures of a world that often presents itself to us as an incomprehensible chaos. Pictures then can help us sort it out, no matter if we choose the counter-discourse of art or the discourse of reportage.

Pictures from Litfaß session no. 11

11 thoughts on ““Organized Noise” – an Afterthought”

  1. I struggled with interpreting ‘organized noise’ though I kind of understand what you were aiming for. And I really like your Climbing into the Pool of Now interpretation. Yes. You do make me think. And that is a good thing.

    1. Thanks, Paula. I am glad you do. For me, it is always difficult to pick a favorite – but I had a gut Feeling this particular Picture might be underestimated. I quite like it, too. When’s the next challenge? (Yes, this is a tongue-in-cheek question.)

    2. It’s this Thursday (the scheduled challenges page is updated) and it is a theme that I am not sure how you would interpret it visually – Life size 🙂

    1. …und ich hatte befürchtet, es vielleicht zu knapp, nicht klar genug dargestellt zu haben. Freut mich, wenn es spannend ist! Danke fürs Feedback!

  2. Thank you for that ‘climbing into the Pool of Now’ – also the idea of knowledge gaining existence only through discourse/forcing pictures into being.

    1. I think you had quite a part in that thought process. Thank you, Tish! I’d love to have more challenges / discussions like that.

? ... !

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.