In Silence…

Joel Ong


Duration: 15mins

Dimensions: Variable 

Installation. Visitation booth, television, reflecting pool, cymatics, embedded sound, bone conductance, phone hotline, video, audio

In Silence . . . (2022) is a silent film and installation that reflects on the ongoing work of the artist with community partners in Jane-Finch, one of the most economically challenged and racialized areas of Toronto and the stories embodied in them and their children.  The work takes a selection of anecdotal stories and presents them through actors on a screen limited to non-vocal expressions, and a reflecting pool that is activated by cymatic visualizations of prerecorded speech.

Fragments of these stories are also accessible through a bone-conductance railing (that forces the visitor into a position reminiscent of pain or anguish), and a phone hotline. Inspired by a quote from sonic artist and philosopher Salomé Voegelin: “In silence, time does not move but vibrates gently on the spot. It is slowed down on my body whose time it has become”, In Silence . . .pays tribute to the resilience of the community through the emotional turmoil of the pandemic that has made them feel they were in a perpetual suspension and immobility, and the stories of survival that have emerged.

Actors: Ayesha Khan, Joella Crichton and Jamie Robinson

Videographer: Michael Miroshnik
Fabrication support: Liz Tsui and Jacob Turola