This is a fascinating overview of the history of sound art. The rise of a prominent auditory culture, as seen in the recent plethora of art exhibitions on sound art, in conjunction with academic programs dedicated to "aural culture", sonic art, and auditory issues now emerging, reveals the degree to which sound art is lending definition to the 21st century. And yet, sound art still lacks related literature to compliment, and expand, the realm of practice. "Background Noise" sets out an historical overview, while at the same time shaping that history according to what sound art reveals - the dynamics of art to operate spatially, through media of reproduction and broadcast, and in relation to the intensities of communication and its contextual framework.
Brandon LaBelle is a writer and curator who currently lives in Denmark. From 1998 to 2002 he developed and curated an international sound art festival in Los Angeles, Beyond Music; in 2001 he developed and organized Social Music, a series of radio works for Kunstradio in Vienna; in 2002 he curated Concrete Feedback, an exhibition of sound installations working with architecture, presented at the Southern California Institute of Architecture; and in 2002-03 he researched and curated the music section to the exhibition, Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s - 1970s for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.