This dissertation provides a media archaeology of the film projector, concentrating on the conceptualization and use of projector noise through the lens of the modernist and contemporary avant-garde, that offers new ways of understanding cinema, interpreting embodied cinematic space, and extending the discourse on audiovision in general. Looking toward the projector allows us to see how it is a productive labourer in the construction of cinematic experience. Listening to its noises— which have been framed as insignificant and/or unwanted—allows us to understand the way cinema is in fact a performative art with a certain kind of liveness. Part One of this dissertation traces an alternative history of cinema focused on the projector beginning with the pre-cinema technologies of the camera obscura, the telescope and the magic lantern. Part Two analyzes how the avant-garde has engaged with the projector-as-instrument during three major technological transitional moments in cinema: first, early cinema and the rise of the Cinématographe by looking at the Italian futurists, specifically Arnaldo Ginna and Bruno Corra’s interest in the projector-as-instrument and the relationship between the Cinématographe and Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori; the advent of sound-on-film technology and how it was used to produce synthetic noises by Oskar Fischinger, László Moholy-Nagy, Peter Kubelka and the author; and third, at the moment of the digital transition filmmakers like Bruce McClure and Karl Lemieux who have returned to explore the performativity and materiality of the projector in their artwork. At a time when the discourse of cinema is rife with rhetoric proclaiming its death (under threat of the digital revolution), this dissertation serves to establish that film is far from dead; through the projector-as-instrument, the future is bright…and very noisy.