Sonam

silence shortly

39s

2019

How long can one listen to silence? What has technology done to our attention span? Do we still look outside the window while traveling, at the changing landscape or just at the world passing by? Smart phones have become an integral part of our lives, an extension of our hands which open up infinitely to layers of sensoriums.

silence shortly uses the mobile device to trigger a pause from within the device itself. It draws the listener to withdraw into a sonic void and spend a minute in silence. One is asked to verify their existence by saying out aloud ‘I’m not a robot‘ into the phone. If they do, they get another call with a minute of silence, which has a subtle sound of someone’s presence. If they don’t respond, they receive a call with unsilence/ disturbance.

In the act of saying the words and proving our humanity, we realise how overwhelming our existence is, and how our lives are hard to imagine without smart devices. The spaces for contemplation, boredom and a purposeless staring at the sky, have been occupied by scrolling through the screenscapes. The work does not antagonise or make demands to get rid of our devices, since it is using the medium itself to transmit the message. It only provides a silent space in our automated lives, where we can take a deep breath and rethink what it means to pause and look around from time to time.

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<Call recording(s)>

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<About>

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