Looking at White Noise

Because I have been thinking a lot about white noise and how I could use it in my work, I decided to find out more about what exactly it is and what it means in terms of science and to those who listen to and are exposed to it, to work out what kind of messages it could communicate within my work. 

White noise is a sound that contains equal intensities of many frequencies. It is used in psychological tests of paranormal science, such as the Ganzfeld experiment which tests for ESP abilities and works by shutting off the senses, to create perceptual deprivation, which in theory should allow for extra sensory perception to occur more easily. The sound of white noise is also used to help people concentrate and sleep, as the mix of frequencies is effective in blocking out distractions. 

In terms of the visual of white noise that we get on television screens, this snowy effect of pixels on the screen, is due to the antenna not being able to pick up any television signal. The specific flickering effect is caused by the antenna accidentally picking up electronic noise and radiated electronic noise. This effect is usually seen on analogue television sets and old video tapes, however many modern televisions use a white noise effect, to show that nothing is being picked up by the television or that nothing is plugged in, for it to pick up anything visual to display on the screen.

Due to the effect of white noise being commonly associated with old video and television technologies, I feel like it would be a great tool to use in my work. To communicate a message about how mass media has changed over the years and how necessary it is in our modern world, and to also challenge ideas about whether this rise in the use of mass media and new technologies, is good for us or not. 

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