Visible Silence | Silencio Visible

Montreal, Canada, 2006

Visible Silence, 2006. Participatory performance and multimedia installation. Hexagram Black Box, Montreal, Québec, Canada

How could the use of technology in experimental artistic environments enable a telling of stories of displacement and can it bring us to the immediacy of those experiences?

Visible Silence 2006 explored intersections of lives affected by war displacement through shared and subjective memories in a responsive-media environment. It focused on the female experience because, more often than not, women are the ones left behind with the disappearances and deaths of their partners and children in the context of war and conflict. The artistic research explored how and where memories may be 'stored' in the body and what their physical and energetic manifestations could be. Another aspect of the work was the creation of ‘environments' as sensorial shelters. The otherworldly parallel worlds between memory, emotions and imagination were acknowledged in the performance process.

Visible Silence was proposed as a performativity of listening to what often is difficult to express in the face of human loss from state violence. It was also created as an impermanent memorial and open-ended ritual.

Visible Silence was created in the context of the Graduate Certificate show for the program in Digital Technologies in Design Art at Concordia University, Montreal. This artistic experiment was part of Mapa de Memorias| Map of Memories, an artistic project focused on experiences of forced displacement conceived by Livia Daza-Paris.

Many thanks for support from the Topological Media Lab at Concordia University, par b.l.eux Dance Company, Canada Arts Council and Centre Interuniversitaire des Arts Médiatiques.

Special thanks to: Sha Xin Wei, Dominique Fontaine, Benoît Lachambre, Leila Saliba, Marla Dillabough, Valeria Taranto and Jay Short. Heartfelt thanks to the artistic team: Pablo Bonacina, Luciane Pinto, Carlos Brizuela, Marc Boucher, Reena Almoneda-Chang and Penny Burton.

Visible Silence was created as a many-media immersive installation which included MAX/jitter responsive video and audience participation.

All images are from the installation and performance at the Hexagram Black Box, Montreal, Québec, May 2006.

Interview to Livia Daza-Paris during rehearsal.