Symphony of Silence (SOS)
Symphony of Silence (SOS)
DJ Lag – Gqom boss from Durban, South Africa.
Shannen SP is a London based dj, host of the NTS Radio show i.d.s.t and co curator of Ø.
“SYMPHONY of SILENCE” 2017/18
“Silence itself […] is less the absolute limit of discourse, the other side from which it is separated by a strict boundary, than an element that functions alongside the things said, with them and in relation to them within over-all strategies. […]
There is not one but many silences…”
Latitude: N 38° 34.5896′. Longitude: E 128° 22.9731′.
At the end of August 2017 Berlin-based Nik Nowak was part of a delegation of international artists invited to participate in a purported programme of fostering ‘cultural exchange’ with North Korean counterparts at the University of Fine Arts, Pyongyang. It was an encounter that was to coincide, and be intensified by the belligerent posturing volleyed between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un and the escalation of geopolitical tensions in the region, reaching its ground-shaking apogee in North Korea’s testing of its latest nuclear capabilities. Against this backdrop, Nowak attempted to realise his conception of a Symphony of Silence, a project that was to be redolent, but yet an inversion, of the Cold War’s war of decibels that had, using the latest mobile and sound technologies of the day, engaged in the retaliatory launching of competing ideological sonic salvos across the newly-constructed Berlin Wall. Proffering a motif of silence, Nowak envisaged the creation of a temporary vacuole of no-sound, or anti-sound, in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea (DMZ), as an interruption of the propagandistic sonic militarism of each side. By using their respective confrontational sound system installations to play an identical but phase-inverted sound, with the purpose of letting the sine waves cancel each other out thus creating an active silence, the artist sought to question the potential of the absence of sound to be non-ideological. Continually negotiating with a litany of intractable officials, at both State and university levels, in a highly regimented, sonically regulated society, his attempts at every turn were thwarted, silence being regarded by the North Korean apparatchiks as an unacceptable provocation suggestive of a surrender and running counter to their revolutionary struggle to reunify the two Koreas “with one single voice”. The featured short film Symphony of Silence (2018) documents the artist’s observations and challenges during this project.
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- DJ LAG