New York: Slash

Slash: Paper Under the Knife takes the pulse of the international art world's renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration, examining the remarkably diverse use of paper in a range of art forms. Slash is the third exhibition in MAD's Materials and Process series, which examines the renaissance of traditional hand craft materials and techniques in contemporary art and design. The exhibition surveys unusual paper treatments, including works that are burned, torn, cut by lasers, and shredded. A section of the exhibition will focus on artists who modify books to transform them into sculpture, while another will highlight the use of cut paper for film and video animations.

I Thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition, some of the Artists works were relevant towards my silence project and have given me a lot of inspiration.

Brian Dettmer

In his work Dettmer takes things that contain a vast amount of information and reuses it in a different way.

Ariana Boussard-Reifel’s Between the Lines, 2007.  

Ariana removed all the black text from a book distributed by a white supremacist group so that the book was stark white and full of holes. Silencing their extremist views.

New York Idea: You Have the Right to Remain Silent?

Whilst Travelling through customs upon arrival in Newark Airport NY certain things got me thinking. I was expecting the security checks to be extremely tight for understandable reasons, but as I Had my photograph taken, my fingerprints scanned and then was asked a series of questions in an intimidating fashion, I wondered what happens to that information once I have been let into the country? Could the US Government use it to check up on me if they felt a need to?

Tabloids Silenced

Here are My three silenced Tabloid newspapers.

The Mirror

The Sun

The Star

I feel that changing my methods of editing was a good choice, I am pleased with how they have turned out. As a set I think they work well, each papers characteristics are still visible but will all of the information stripped away, they become silent. I have simplified the image silhouettes, making them into block shapes because I think a detailed silhouette gives the viewer too much information about the image that has been silenced.

Tabloid news deserves silencing more.

I have now applied the same editing technique to The Mirror, having done this I realize that it is much more fitting for me to focus on silencing Tabloid newspapers because I dislike their type of journalism. Ironically I also think they create more effective final pieces due to their bright colours and bold type, which is one of the other reasons I dislike tabloids.

After talking to Hitch about how the final product was looking, and how long the process of editing each one was taking I decided that I would change my methods slightly. here is a version of The Star which I was mid way through editing when I came to this decision.


The Gurdian silenced

Here is my first attempt at silencing a news paper. I am happy with how it has turned out although the process was much more laborious than I expected. I have edited out all of the words, leaving just the punctuation and simplified the images down to just one colour and a silhouette.

Silencing News

Taking inspiration from the Research i have done into Censorship, I decided to buy a selection of today's newspaper and see if i can Silence them using my own style of censorship.


Censorship is the suppression of speech. “Speech” can mean what I would call “meaningful speech” (information, reporting, data, art, opinions etc.), or other speech. Both can be censored, with some very specific censoring techniques for the latter (e.g. “bleeping”, “pixelation”, black stripes over naked breasts etc.).The suppression of speech can be enforced by the government and by a government appointed “official” censor, but there are other types of censorship as well. Newspapers, for example, may decide that an article should not be published because the owners or the sponsors/advertisers of the newspaper would object. Or because there is some other reason, such as national security, patriotism, political correctness, the willingness to avoid offense etc.
In such cases we speak of self-censorship, a voluntary self-inflicted restriction of speech. However, what appears to be self-censorship is often more like indirect censorship. Governments can censor indirectly. They can pressure people to censor themselves, for example by way of intimidation. Another indirect way for governments to censor is to take over the media, outlaw independent media and create a government controlled media monopoly.

Speech can be censored in many ways: books can be burned, newspaper articles can be replaced by white space, the internet can be filtered, texts can be “edited”, images or maps can be altered, satellite dishes or other tools of information gathering can be prohibited, people can be indoctrinated into accepting taboos, writers can be intimidated, imprisoned or killed etc.

The great firewall of China 


In the space of about a decade, China's tech development has raced ahead to catch up with some of the most advanced countries in the West. But there are still stark differences, finds Richard Taylor. Link

Wartime Censorship

This is a portion of a letter (second page) which shows how soldiers letters were censored while in the CTC.  The areas that appear black in the image are actually parts that were physically cut out from the page by a censor at the CTC Headquartes in Bournemouth, England.  Return addresses were always removed to keep the location of the CTC schools secret.  The censor would sometimes write in a return address (which would be the Headquarters' address in Bournemouth).  If there was a reference in the letter to towns or landmarks in the vicinity of the CTC school, that would also be cut out.  Letters written on both sides of a piece of paper were especially hard to read since they could get chopped up from both sides.


ko-yaa-nis-qa-tsi (from the Hopi Indian language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living. Life out of balance.

Koyaanisqatsi is probably my favourite piece of cinematography. it is a movie with no conventional plot: merely a collection of expertly photographed scenes. The soundtrack is Composed for the film by Philip Glass and it fits perfectly. It is not the lack of dialogue in this film that has made me associate it with silence, it is how I feel whilst I watch. I am captivated by the images and like to think that is how most people feel the first time they watch it.

Philips: Carousel

Carousel promotes Philips’ latest entrant into the television market, the CINEMA 21:9. Since the television’s 21:9 frame lends itself so readily to film, Tribal DDB, Amsterdam commissioned Stink Digital to create a piece of filmed content that could hold its own with Hollywood’s best. Stink Digital director Adam Berg responded with an idea for an epic ‘frozen moment’ cops and robbers shootout sequence that included clowns, explosions, a decimated hospital, and plenty of broken glass, bullet casings and money.

This scene is a very good example of how a moment "Frozen in time" becomes silent.

Silence: Part Two

'Silence' - part 2 Select from one of the following
Brief Option 1.

A short VISUAL document (in Print or Moving Image )

Brief Overview;
Produce (a) A finished Visual document in text & Image - a 'Graphic essay'
OR (b) a short moving / sequential film using STILLS or Moving Image.

This document must record and encapsulate your own specific work on the Silence brief and include an element of written / spoken language ( Facts, findings, reflection or a fictional narrative )


a) 2D REQUIREMENTS; A typographic / Print format to work as a Poster sheet and also as a Folded document - it can be double sided.Use found referenced quotes and or your own writing, thoughts and evaluations on the subject. It can be Poetic - it doesnt have to be logical. Your choice of Paper stock – format – scale etc – will all determine the ‘feel’ and success of this 2d folded document, so consider all the above carefully – make a dummy first. At least 3 copies must be reproduced.


b) Motion REQUIREMENTS; A short Sequential / Still or moving image work – this must include language – The spoken word or typographic text of your choice.


Brief Option 2. AMNESTY PROMOTION (Print or Moving Image )

Amnesty International require a strong conceptual campaign
and Image for its continued Promotion of free speech aimed at Countries generally within the United Nations who censor free speech. ( no country need be named specifically ) This campaign aims to focus on the concept of human rights and FREEDOM – what visual metaphors have you already created for freedom and levity ?– this piece should highlight the ‘absence of freedom’ ?

a) 2D Produce an overall Print campaign. A powerful memorable poster – and or direct mail concept – lateral image and strap line with Copy.


b) Motion; A short 30 second to 2 minute sequential Information film for BBC4 and the Cinema that communicates the idea of repression and silence ( work from a story board and stills )
- this piece should aim to be
Intruiging / experimental / implicit / ambient / clever and not necessarily explicit / obvious

Promote Amnesty’s cause, their website and to raise awareness and funding

Deadline Jan 2010 assessment

Attendance at your seminar tutorials is vital - to form and enhance your ideas
You are now placing your research and visual investigations of ‘SILENCE’ into a design context – aiming to persuade the viewer to interact and engage with your campaign and visual aesthetic.

Telling lies

I see telling lies as a form of silence. When people don't say what they really mean it is their true opinion that is silenced. Simon Ellis has made a short film called 'Telling Lies' that i think illustrates this well. Here is a clip from the film. (strong language)

Ruben Brulat

Whilst browsing a design blog, i came across a french photographer called Ruben Brulat. His images have a very stark quality, mostly of misty landscapes or bare spaces. I think he has captured the silence of the moment amazingly.


I associate waiting with silence. when we alone are waiting for something, whether it be a bus, for a friend or just to go home from work... we tend to just stand and think, we are silent.

Silent potential

An instrument that is not being played is obviously silent... but its silence is different in that as an object its soul purpose is to make sound.. it has silent potential.

Burning Books

Burning books is a form of silence because it is the destruction of someones written ideas or opinions. Once they have been destroyed they can no longer be read by anyone else, therefore silent.

book burning in Nazi Germany

Other images

Dial tone

The dial tone signifies silence to me because it is a sound we only hear when a telephone conversation has ended, or before the conversation has started if you are the person who dials.

Sound Of Silence

Sound Of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel 

when i here the word Silence mentioned, this song seems to come to my head instantly.


Researching Silence has made me think about when people say Shh! or Shush.

be quiet! hush!
to quiet (someone) by saying `shush' [imitative]

it seems ironic that a making a sound can be a demand for silence. Why is it this sound that we make? where did it start?


The nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.


The term “Tinnitus aurium”, short Tinnitus, is the Latin name for “the ringing in the ears”. It identifies the symptom understood as the subjective perception of a tone or sound without any external acoustic stimulation.

I am a sufferer of mild Tinnitus, so when i personally think of silence i imagine the high-pitched ringing sound. Silence is impossible, in the same way it is impossible to have "Nothing"


This is an image i took in May 2006, on Crosby beach Liverpool where Antony Gormleys 'Another place' is located. i have always seen it as a very silent image. Looking back it is the silent feeling that probably inspired me to give it the title "Alone".

 Here are some other photographs i have taken that have a silent feeling to them...

Silence in Nature...

Nature is never silent. the wind will whistle, birds will craw and leaves will rustle. although when we are alone in nature there is a feeling of silence.

A time when i seem to notice the silence is when i wake up to find snow has fallen overnight. everything seems so calm and still.