At the same time, we should not forget the considerably “modern” radiophonic wake and its imaginaries, as an emerging technological and acoustic culture, where the possibility of noise was something to disrupt the general fantasy of radiophonic space and the frequency standards of its waves. As Brandon LaBelle observes 4, the ethereal avant guard of artists who attempted to produce radio art through a manipulation of noise, misprision and appropriation of the sound and the misinterpreted signal, where the very ﬁrst who welcomed the possibility of some kind of dissonance and noise which, would always be “in conﬂict” with the standardisation of the radiophonic waves. If going beyond standardisation insinuates the appropriation of any element that seemingly “doesn’t ﬁt,” therefore, architecture and design has a long story related to the avoidance of “dissonance”. Inventing standards is not something new to architecture and spatial studies, even when it comes from architecture’s own modernity until the recent discourse that limits the discussion about any urban or spatial plan to the level of its instrumental reasoning through its infrastructural organisation where anything is reduced to the level of its operation and mere circulation and distribution of activities. Modernity’s endless inventions for proposed metrics and measures systems 5 of the quantiﬁed man and its surroundings, or the more contemporary and planetary ISO (International Standards Organisation) overseeing global technical standards from credit card thickness to dashboard pictograms, computer protocols create, as Keller Easterling points out, a “soft law” 6 of global exchanges. The constructive capacity of the politics of dimensions is dealing with the population in a such a way that reminds us of a Foucauldian analysis of disciplinary mechanisms of measures, forecasts, statistical estimates and generally, quantiﬁcation as crucial factors for the construction of biopolitical realms. Such mechanisms “modify a given individual as he is an individual but essentially, to intervene at the level of the generality of such phenomena”. 7 And this is exactly the realm of our new biopolitical technologies to whom spatial practices and organisation seem to play a crucial role, while being in need of a new spatial vocabulary and re-evaluation.
Therefore, such a reﬂection showcases that the discussion about silence-dissonance relation goes beyond its apparent sonic dimension, while it can make us contemplate what is there to be avoided, what is there to be designed as “to not ﬁt” in a certain set of standards, which is nothing more than designing “the rule”, designing what should be designed. Therefore, designing, but most of all deciding, how to exist in very certain terms of materialities that ﬁnally organise and control the realities we live in. And this brings us closer to the current discourse about spatial studies and the role of architecture into the shaping of new biopolitical forms of governmentality that get materialised — or immaterialised, insinuating the absence of actual materiality— in space. Nevertheless, sonic events and their agency can bring thoughtful insight to the ways in which we look at spatial agency, especially when it comes to certain theoretical models and conceptualisations like the ones which are to follow.