three readings homework (silence part two)


silent sound art piece responding to ‘ma’


3 pieces of interest from Collins + 3 others

John Levack Drever’s Pastoral Pause

Valerian Maly’s Apple (Windfall/Fallobst)

Adrian Newton’s Bird Hide


Lotte Geeven’s The Sound of the Earth (2013)

(be sure to click on the video)


SALA’s May I Ask You All For Silence (2014)


Pat Collins’ Silence (2012), a film about field recording


Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s Kiss My Nauman (2007)

(Since this does not really pertain to the Collins reading, but does fall under the category of silent sound art, I am including it as an extra. Warning: Rock And Roll All Nite may become stuck in your head.)


5 pieces of silent sound art that I might make


1)  silent objects / imagined sounds:

Three masks, each with a different expression. Normally, I would be drawn to create these to fit a human face, but for some reason, I feel they should be smaller… Not necessarily miniature, but doll sized? Something that could be easily cradled within a human hand to evoke a sense of preciousness and/or fetishism. That said, I envision the masks displayed on pedestals (‘art’), or on the wall of a niche (secret space).

Alternatively, the objects could take the form of figurines, inspired by Bactrian Princesses. This direction would encourage an imagining of the audible inner lives/thoughts of the figurines (as opposed to an imagining of the sounds that might emanate from the masks).


2)  touch:

A:  A costume covered in nubby things. Nipples? Yes. Nipples everywhere.

B:  Furniture covered in nubby things. Probably not nipples. That would be weird.


3)  shaping acoustic space:

A dome space – potentially outdoors – with a mandala pattern. Along the geometric lines informing the mandala, different frequencies would be run, similar to electrical wires. Could this be realized by stretching guitar strings taut? Harp strings? As this is conceived as a silent work, the strings would not necessarily need to be played. Or perhaps they are plucked intermittently, with the sound falling away into silence being an equally important part of the work. The intention for this project would be to create a healing sonic space for anyone sitting beneath/inside the dome.


4)  sheer will silence:

Sitting somewhere that is partially situated in nature – most likely a park – but close enough to a road where the sounds of traffic are unwelcome and intrusive. Would it be possible to achieve a meditative state deep enough to make the rushing mechanical sounds evaporate?


5)  silent sounds beyond human perception:

Identifying ley lines, marking them visually in physical space, and finally amplifying the telluric current. Perhaps amplification manifests as human participants being able to detect subtle vibrations?

This seemed like something that may already have been undertaken, so I googled “ley lines sound art” and found The Seattle Ley-Line Map, a Geo Group project begun in 1987. While the artworks proposed by the Geo Group do not specifically include sound art – or call for amplification of telluric current – they do envision marking the ley lines in physical space.





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