Meretseger (She Who Loves Silence)
by Min Kim
Silence has disappeared.
In the 21st century, we are bombarded by noises all the time: from the rumble of traffic to sounds from devices to unavoidable background music in shopping centres. This technological advancement has birthed a glut of people who find silence unsettling and uncomfortable, with unhealthy needs for constant noise and interaction. Has technology made us scared of silence? Is noise a source of reassurance, not annoyance? Is there even such a thing as total silence?
Meretseger (She Who Loves Silence) is an interactive experience that explores different perspectives on silence and its relation to writing in the age of technology. The piece asks the audience to break their silence by responding to the prompt: “What is something you can say here but not to people you know?” It simultaneously challenges them to remain quiet, as the response only becomes legible when the audience collectively stays in silence. It is thus an invitation for the audience to listen, to be attentive to their inner voices and to become aware of the liveness of our acoustic environment.
The title of the project comes from Meretseger, the ancient Egyptian goddess of silence who was in charge of guarding and protecting the Theban Necropolis. Inspired by her role of guardian, the website aims to create a safe online space that protects people’s boundaries of vocalising silence in the face of sharing personal thoughts.