In Pursuit of Silence

After seeing this new film trailer, I’m pretty sure it’s official: “silence” has become the new “wilderness.” Silence, as you can see above, is a romantic, pristine, threatened, always already disappearing state that we need to save because it can revitalize your spirit, make you more human, make you a better lover, raise your IQ, cure your tuberculosis, etc. And these white people are here to tell you all about it!

From the introduction of my dissertation:

The process of articulating natural silence—that is, the process of making silence audible—has historically been neither “natural” nor “silent,” but rather the manifestation of historically specific criteria for a “harmonious” relationship with nature as experienced through sound. Unfortunately, such romanticized experiences were not available to everyone. In order to hear natural silence, it was often necessary to silence racial and gendered others, ethnic minorities, the lower classes, and the mechanized sounds of industrial capitalism (which most benefited the people who now found them distasteful).

This movie doesn’t come out until 2015, so I guess have a whole year to stew about it…



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