:: silence is a monster


(mac os)

Telecommunications deals with the how the speed and responsiveness of communication affects a friendship. The anchor acts like a black-hole, attracting the streaming stanzas to it whenever they get within a certain range. And, like a black-hole, time "slows" down and these streams move and march more slowly the closer they get to the anchor. This singularity-effect echoes the arc of the poem, which concerns a friendship, once co-present, now long-distance, which is slowly dissolving into the silence of distance. The individual stanzas are snatches of the correspondence between these two people, one male and one female, as it progresses from face-to-face to telephone to email and, finally, to letter, as the geographic distance between them widens with time.

The slowing-down of the stanzas, both speed- and march-wise, reflects the way in which these people, in the lulls between (and, finally, the absence of) communicative acts, replay previous conversations in their heads - an act of remembrance as well as an act of prognostication, as each attempts to figure out what is going wrong. In the silence, all they have are what has been said, and they linger over those words.

The global temporal arc reflects the diminishment of communication. The piece begins with a flurry of conversation, then SILENCE enters, and, slowly, the quantity of that communication diminishes, until it ceases together, leaving the reader in visual silence.

Jason E. Lewis




Director for MacOS

Digital Dirt, CTHEORY on-line exhibition, 1997