Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    About silence

    Petralia, Peter Salvatore (2008) About silence. [Video]

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    In a time where television is the backdrop to our daily lives, where communication happens through mediation (mobile phone, fax, email) more frequently than it does through face to face discussion, where we are less likely to feel and more likely to think – in this time, About Silence meditates on life, love and obsession. Three people are seated at a table facing three laptops (and the audience). They begin speaking, their voices amplified by microphones and their faces illuminated only by the glow of the laptop screen. In front of them television screens with abstracted, close-ups of the text, the performers faces and their laptops. On the performers’ screens, is a long list of statements, images and questions, most of which follow the form “About…”This is an unrehearsed performance: the performer will have never seen the text before. During About Silence, the performers follow a few simple rules: none of the lines are assigned to a performer, all the lines must be spoken, the order of the lines cannot change, if one of them starts speaking at the same time as another they synch up their voices. What this means is that the performance ends up being about how the particular performers negotiate the text live in front of an audience. The charged atmosphere this creates is bracing: the performers laugh, smile or seem upset by what they are reading and, of course, there are inevitably moments of silence.

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