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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » 8D - Quiet Zone: Visual representations of silence, stillness and quiet

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Source: (consider it) Thread: 8D - Quiet Zone: Visual representations of silence, stillness and quiet
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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Silence is, of course, the absence of noise. I’ve been intrigued by ways of depicting this in the arts, and a few years ago I did a photographic project on silence with the intention of seeing whether it was possible to represent a quality traditionally associated with sound in a more visual medium.

I’d like participants on this thread to have a think about how silence might be depicted in that way – photographic, or through drawing, or art: what images you might use to depict it. Some of these might be personal to you, maybe expressed with abstract art or perhaps a particular colour means that to you. Perhaps a picture or a scene holds that quality. It might be something that isn’t considered silent or quiet, but contains aspects of it. What would work for you, as a visual image of silence, stillness, quietness?

Do you find that it would contain no movement, or can movement be part of it?

[ 19. March 2017, 14:40: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I'm thinking of a large water surface (lake? big pond?)with tiny ripples going across the surface. In black and white.

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Not sure I have got a visual but I thought until recently that it was just me imagining a silence associated with trees but I have caught others talking of this as well.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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I once had a photo (bought from a shop rather than one of my own) of the dome of an Italian cathedral rising from the mist. That seemed to symbolize the idea of a 'gathered silence' to me.
Rather annoyingly I've now lost it.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Drifting Star

Drifting against the wind
# 12799

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I'm thinking of a large water surface (lake? big pond?)with tiny ripples going across the surface. In black and white.

Does this Lowry fit the bill? It fits my perception of stillness, even though, of course, the sea is never still, and never silent.

Actually, nature in general fills my need for stillness - wherever there is no invasion of machinery or intrusive activity.

Byron summed it up pretty well for me:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar...

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The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Heraclitus

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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That would work. Or maybe this.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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I think that representations of stillness (like those already shared) are fairly common. Probably water - large quantities, being reasonably calm - is the thing that does it for me.

Probably I would prefer a still lake in its surroundings. It is the stillness of nature, when everything has gone to sleep - not silent, because I prefer the connection that some sound gives.

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Having been where that Lowry Seascape is supposed to be painted over the last few days, I don't think of that one as silent. Lots of seabirds, seals and wave noise.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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moonlitdoor
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# 11707

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Maybe Drifting Star is meaning a stillness specifically of people. Because that Byron poem also is not describing a quiet scene but rather the untamed power of the sea. Is the idea that in the face of such power we can only stand and watch ?

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We've evolved to being strange monkeys, but in the next life he'll help us be something more worthwhile - Gwai

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Drifting Star

Drifting against the wind
# 12799

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I think you're right moonlitdoor. For me stillness is characterised very much by a lack of human busyness and noise. Animals can disturb it - barking dogs, for instance - but not usually.

Wind and waves and suchlike are fascinating because they really ought to interfere with stillness, but they don't - for me.

quote:
Originally posted by moonlitdoor:
Is the idea that in the face of such power we can only stand and watch ?

Yes! In some way they emphasise the stillness within, but they don't interfere with it.

(Tornadoes and tsunamis excepted... [Ultra confused] )

[ 25. October 2016, 21:38: Message edited by: Drifting Star ]

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The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Heraclitus

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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I had a beautiful postcard photo of the planet Saturn that would qualify as a depiction of silence I think.

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Sorry I was reflecting on why stillness is so difficult to portray visually. I love the sea and water and will watch waves and movement for ever, including streams and rivers, and it does bring stillness. to a degree.

But there is too much interesting to watch and listen for, seals particularly, that mean I can be distracted from stilling the inner monkey voices.

I agree with trees and lakes as visual representations, or stones. I find some of Dorset Scouser's images pictures that take me to somewhere beyond myself, or something like this portrayal of a Japanese garden. (Somewhere I have photographs of stones stacks like that along the shoreline of Lindisfarne.)

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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These are three of the pictures from my photographic project:

pic 1; pic 2; pic 3.

I don't know whether I'd have taken these now if I was to do the project again, but think they all reflect silence in different ways.

I agree about trees. One of the most restorative places I know is a corner of a little Cotswold village that looks over a long field, bordered by tall trees. There isn't usually any sound other than the rustling of the breeze in the leaves and now and again, the call of the birds. Yet for some reason I've found this particular corner of the village, with a little old church a few yards away, a stream, and an apple orchard with sheep, to be very restorative in difficult times, not by doing anything, but by just being itself.

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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To me this comes down to whether or not there is a call which expects a response from its hearer. I believe that is why dogs and people disturb stillness but storms and other forms of noise such as birdsong don't. A storm is never going to require a reply, because you can't ever have a relationship with it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Being in a place where there are more deer than people and less than 1 person per square mile, I tend to equate natural images with stillness. Courtney Milne's images do pretty well (he was from Grandora, just outside of Saskatoon).

There's a timelessness involved. Pictures like that could be from last week or 100 years ago.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
To me this comes down to whether or not there is a call which expects a response from its hearer. I believe that is why dogs and people disturb stillness but storms and other forms of noise such as birdsong don't. A storm is never going to require a reply, because you can't ever have a relationship with it.

I dunno, I've definitely heard birds disturbing the silence--mainly when I'm out camping and they decide to go full Handel at 5:30 am. It isn't some lovely birdsong in the background--more like a bunch of tuneful buzzsaws. (And don't get me started on the idiot woodpeckers who exercise their skills on aluminum siding.)

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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The best silence I've ever experienced was going for a walk on the moor, in the mist, in deep snow. Total white-out, eerily quiet. But completely peaceful, not threatening at all.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
Does this Lowry fit the bill? It fits my perception of stillness, even though, of course, the sea is never still, and never silent.

Oooh, that takes me back. Before The Lowry Centre (TM) nicked Salford City Art Gallery's collection, I used to sit in front of that some lunchtimes, and reflect on life's futility. Lowry is good for that; the Salford City gallery had a big static exhibition of Lowry paintings (adjacent to the building where some of his earlier works were composed) which were just accompanied by a bunch of quotes from the artist. They all seemed to point to a kind of quiet, lonely stare into nothing, even (or perhaps especially) the ones full of people.


Perhaps this kind of quiet stare in the face of futility.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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