Masters thesis @ ITP
Silence was the topic of my Masters Thesis at ITP.
- Wood Glue
- Laser cutter
- 2 displays + 1 computer
- Adobe InDesign + illustrator
Silence is a year-long inquiry into the meaning of the word through different lenses.
Explorations in the liminal space where our inner and outer worlds meet through the lens of silence. How can silence lead to deeper understanding of the self and others? How do we harness a mindful practice of growth and intention into avenues for creative expression? How do we reconcile our deepest parts and render them public?
Silence is defined as the lack of sound in space, or an absence, a negative space. But what if it could mean more? As part of a quest to understand and implement silence into my life, the series of projects are the beginnings of a creative practice. To further research, I created conversations around silence, asking individuals how silence manifests in their life. What language can we find to speak about the things that are hidden? My research showed that the quality of silence can be distilled into a space for channeling creativity, processing feelings, and creating language. Susan Sontag, in her essay The Aesthetics of Silence wrote: “A genuine emptiness, a pure silence, is not feasible — either conceptually or in fact. If only because the artwork exists in a world furnished with many other things, the artist who creates silence or emptiness must produce something dialectical: a full void, an enriching emptiness, a resonating or eloquent silence. Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech (in many instances, of complaint or indictment) and an element in a dialogue.” How then can the qualities of silence be collected to create a larger framework that can create dialogue and augment future explorations? Through a series of projects, personal study, ethnography, and creative writing, I explore what lies waiting to be unearthed while archiving the silent parts of my self and others into a self-bound book. The book takes the form of an accordion, a growing progress artifact, pieced together through collage to distill the varied meanings of silence.
In an attempt to find meanings around silence I began a series of personal inquiries, looking through past journals and transcribing the text from paper into my computer. To further personal understanding, I spoke to people about what silence means to them, how it manifests in their lives, and what happens when there is no sound. I continued my research through books and other personal inquiries of silence. I looked at, and drew inspiration from, the work of John Cage, Nam June Paik, Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Nick Cave, James Turrell, Christine Sun Kim, Zimoun, Doug Wheeler. I looked at varied spiritual philosophies that are steeped in silence. I watched silent films and immersed myself into manufactured spaces of silence such as anechoic chambers. In choosing the final form, I recognized that a central question of my research process has been to answer the question of how our understanding of silence is a product of reading the contexts around us. Hence, it seems fitting to collect into a book. From paper, to a screen, and resulting in a paper, the book supplements my journals. The accordion format also allows for growth and further documentation to be attached to the end of the book.