The Noise Decade: Intermedial Impulse in Chinese Sound Recording


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Comparative Literature


Between the 1990s and 2000s, Chinese and Taiwanese artists began to experiment with recorded sound and its capacity to document shifting social relations. In the aftermath of the Cold War, disruptive tensions in these two societies were embodied in their increasingly “noisy” acoustic environments—from everyday urban soundscapes to labor protests and missile tests. Well-known artists such as Lin Chi-Wei, Yao Dajuin, Yan Jun, and Hsia Yü have incorporated these sonic fragments into their intermedial experiments in music, video, installation, performance, and poetry, as they turn these acoustic motifs into discursive social commentaries. “The Noise Decade” examines this crucial but often overlooked encounter across the Taiwan Strait, where a discourse on “noise” intersected with the convergence of media. It argues that the embalming of sound creates a resource for the material remains of time, memory, and histories to echo through a violent temporal rupture that radically restructures communal experience.