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STRP Scenario #22: Silence: (im)possible absences

Co-creator: Martina Raponi

What is the difference between listening and hearing, between silence and noise, and how do we experience them?

Location: STRP Stage, Microstad
: English
: this event takes place live in Eindhoven. Select the ticket of Scenario #22 in the ticket shop. Can't be there live? Select the Digital Ticket and follow the live stream digitally!
: Ximena Alarcón, Sarah Heussaff (online), Véro Leduc (online), Noise Research Union, David Toop (online)

Noise can be sensed, and it is often perceived as negative or annoying. Noise disrupts how we perceive with our ears and other senses. It is often experienced as distracting. Silence, on the other hand, is considered as positive, as it is associated with calmness, peace, order, and even discipline. Just as we experience sonic nuisances as noises, we have taught ourselves that silence occurs when sounds are absent. In other words: we experience silence when we ignore the sounds we have learned not to hear. So, what do we mean when we talk about ‘silence’, given that true silence is physically impossible? After all, everything is always in motion, and where there is vibrant matter, there is always a sound - whether we can hear it or not.

Silence is often more a desire, a habit, or something we think of as indifferent. Silence is an impossible absence that, like noise, tells the stories of our personal and collective values. Why do we consider noise as something bad and silence as something good? STRP Scenario #22: Silence: (im)possible absences questions how silence is perceived and embodied in social relations. Is indifference to certain sounds a privilege? Which different types of silences are there? What can we learn from the different ways we can perceive silence?


STRP Scenario #22: Silence: (im)possible absences takes place in silence and is accompanied by a silent soundscape, and a live silent sound break by Noise Research Union (NRU). Speakers from different disciplines will share their interpretations of, and perspectives on silence in a deep listening performance, a film and presentation.

Martina Raponi 2

Co-creator: Martina Raponi

You can also join the Workshop Exploring the Limits of Silence by Noise Research Union.

Martina Raponi is an Italian writer and artist who researches noise and complexity. In 2015, she published a book on noise: Strategie del Rumore. Interferenze tra Arte Filosofia e Underground. She is co-founder of Noiserr, an interdisciplinary research group focused on sound. She teaches Art Theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy and is a member of the NRU (Noise Research Union). She is currently working on her second book, UNHEARD.

Program STRP Scenario #22: Silence, (im)possible absences *

12:00 Soundscape – NRU (online)
13:00 Start
13:05 Presentations + Q&A
15:30 End

* Please note: the program might be subject to change we recommend you to be on time and join the whole program.


STRP Scenario tickets do not include access to STRP Expo. With all STRP tickets you get access to participate in the online program. There is also a STRP Digital ticket that grants access to the online program only.


David Toop (online) has developed a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials, encompassing improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. He has published eight acclaimed books and fourteen solo albums.

Ximena Alarcón is a sound artist-researcher and Deep Listening® certified tutor with a PhD in Music Technology and Innovation, interested in listening to sonic migrations. She creates telematic sonic improvisations using Deep Listening and interfaces for relational listening. She leads the INTIMAL co-creation collective of Latin American migrant women in Europe. INTIMAL is an immersive walkabout sound art telematic experience that takes a small group of participants on a transformative "migratory" journey.

Sarah Heussaff (online) is a doctoral student at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Her research focuses on Disability activist movements and Disability/Crips Arts and accessible curating.

Véro Leduc (online) is an artist, scholar, and first deaf university professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Hear research focuses on Deaf and Disability arts practices in Canada and Deaf music.

Noise Research Union (NRU) is a European interdisciplinary research group centered around explorations of noise. NRU consists of artists and researchers: Sonia de Jager, Cecile Malaspina, Mattin, Miguel Prado, Martina Raponi and Inigo Wilkins.


Josué Amador Valdez

How to get there?

Professor doctor Dorgelolaan, Fellenoord, Centrum 2
5611 BA Eindhoven