December 14, 2007 § 3 Comments
Final draft: in. Defense: scheduled. Sublet: confirmed. Flight: reserved. Everything is speeding, but in a good way.
The last paragraph came at 4:00 AM:
I will conclude this proposal not with a statement but with an image, which more than any other research finding has confirmed my first, blind impulse to investigate noise as a cultural object. The image, a drawing, accompanies a 1973 column in the New York Times which narrates a first-person account of the author’s encounter with a noisy teenager on a city bus. To the right of the text, a coal-black skeleton dressed in jeans and sneakers reclines atop the page fold, a portable radio perched casually on his thigh. From the radio, a thin line of antenna rises like smoke to the top of the page, where it merges with the word that is scratched coarsely into the page: “HATE.” There, in a single drawing, I could feel the connection between everything I have written about here—the ideas and moments and places I am just beginning to find the scholarly language to describe. More than this, I could sense the fear that this image represented to its intended viewers, many of whom would have happened across it while riding on an eerily similar bus. If nothing else, I would like to find ways to understand this fear and to account for its relationship to sound and urban space, and then, to undermine it.
Finally, I’m getting someplace. Yes.