Brandon LaBelle

is an artist and writer working with sound and locational identity. He is the author of Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (Continuum, 2006) and Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (Continuum, 2010). His installation work has been featured internationally including Sound as Media, ICC Tokyo (2000), Bitstreams, Whitney Museum New York (2001), Singuhr galerie, Berlin (2004), Radio Revolten, Halle (2006),  Tuned City, Berlin (2008), and Dissecting the Ear, Ljubljana (2009). He is the editor of Errant Bodies Press.



Reading Silence


The project explores the concept of silence through an engagement with the work of John Cage. For Cage, silence operates as a positive frame to appreciate non-musical sounds, and to heighten the experience of listening: by including silences within his compositions, Cage sought to allow the sounds of the world into the musical experience. It is my interest to perform Cage’s ideas, and the notion of a ‚musical silence‘, through a special reading of Cage’s "Lecture on Nothing" by a deaf individual speaking Slovenian. In doing so, I imagine a performative investigation of Cage’s theories that might also create an unsteady or ambiguous space of silence. How does silence feel for those who cannot hear, and how do Cage’s ideas function within the experience of deafness? And how might this particular voice locate us as listeners?