Inigo Wilkins

Inigo Wilkins is Codirector of Glass Bead. He has published articles on sonic culture and other topics in such journals as Litteraria Pragensia, Mute Magazine, and  HFT Review.

  • Irreversible Noise

    Irreversible Noise

    Inigo Wilkins

    A detailed critical examination of the concept of noise, its significance in scientific disciplines, and its use and misuse in the humanities and sonic arts.

    In this wide-ranging inquiry, Inigo Wilkins elaborates the theoretical and practical significance of the concept of noise with regard to current debates concerning realism, materialism, and rationality. Drawing on contemporary scientific thinking, Wilkins develops a multilevel analysis of noise, exploring the associated notions of randomness and unpredictability across different disciplinary contexts.

    Wilkins articulates noise within a functionalist-computationalist philosophical framework that follows Wilfrid Sellars's inferentialist account of reason through his commentaries on Hume and Kant. Outlining the significance of noise to information theory and cybernetics, its relation to thermodynamics, dynamic systems theory, evolutionary biology, and complexity theory, and to recent theories in cognitive science and AI, he goes on to examine how randomness and noise are pertinent to political economy and contemporary finance. Finally, Wilkins explores noise in its specifically sonic guise, looking in particular at the phenomenology of listening and neurophenomenological models of auditory cognition, and situating the use of noise in experimental and popular music within a deep historical account of its evolutionary development.

    The central aim of this pioneering critical work is to demystify noise—to counter the neoliberal politics of self-organizing systems and the tendency to fetishize indeterminacy in contemporary art—by showing how constrained randomness is intrinsic to the functional organization of complex hierarchically nested systems, including higher cognition, and how the navigation of noise is a necessary condition of reason and consequently of freedom.

    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99

Contributor

  • Construction Site for Possible Worlds

    Construction Site for Possible Worlds

    Amanda Beech, Robin Mackay, and James Wiltgen

    Perspectives from philosophy, aesthetics, and art on how to envisage the construction site of possible worlds.

    Given the highly coercive and heavily surveilled dynamics of the present moment, when the tremendous pressures exerted by capital on contemporary life produces an aggressively normative “official reality,” the question of the construction of other possible worlds is crucial and perhaps more urgent than ever.

    This collection brings together different perspectives from the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, and art to discuss the mechanisms through which possible worlds are thought, constructed, and instantiated, forcefully seeking to overcome the contemporary moment's deficit of conceptualizing alternate realities—its apparent fear of imagining possible new and compelling futures—to begin the arduous task of producing the political dynamics necessary for actual construction.

    Implicit in this dynamic between the imaginary and the possible is the question of how thinking intertwines with both rationality and the inherited contingencies and structures of the world. With no ascertainable ground on which to build, with no confidence in any given that could guarantee our labors, how do we even envisage the construction site(s) of possible worlds, and with what kind of diagrams, tools, and languages can we bring them into being?

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99