Voicing Silence

Voicing Silence is an artistic response aiming to understand how the public feels about the 6th global mass extinction we are experiencing today. It questions how we ought to represent it, how to make sense of it and what new languages are need to express and address it.

Part of a wider project, Thinking Through Extinction, and working in partnership with Manchester Museum and University of Leeds, artist Laurence Payot and a team of artists invited people to collaborate and contribute to a holographic video piece that will be presented online and at Manchester Museum late 2020/early 2021.

I go outside -
enter the garden and
lie down on the grass.
Listen, listen now
to the quieter voices
the smaller chorus
in the sky
in the trees
in the forest
under the sea
the beetles in my garden

This project was realised over the lockdown period with invited collaborating artists: poet Scott Farlow, composer Jon Hughes, animator Laura Spark, choreographer Stacey Atkinson and lighting designer Mark Hilditch. Over 150 participants took part in a range of online workshops with the invited artists, leading to the final holographic piece. Behind the scenes and news are available to see here.

A documentary video of the piece will be available soon.

No Dawn Chorus,
No native herds,
Thick layers of vacant space.
Infinite and indefinite absence.
Echoes and ghosts and faded marks.
I am extinct.
I dream of new life.
The morning dew,
The warm evening light.
Is it permanent?