A Manual for Listening to Quiet
Goldsmiths Centre for Research Architecture Degree Show
September 2016


To become quiet is usually regarded in a similar way to becoming passive, signifying that one has weakened their capacity to act in a situation. If to speak is to validate one’s existence, ‘our voices must be registered, and so we must be heard’, does being quiet mean that one is no longer participating or have given up their right to act? Quiet is an intrinsic part of all relations but has been consigned, by our contemporary political culture, to exist in the background of events. Here, quiet is considered firstly through the notion of presence as a political form  that precedes speech and secondly what it means to be quiet vis-à-vis power.


“That won’t help you,” said the policemen, who always became very quiet, almost sad, when K. began to shout, and in that way confused him or, to some extent, brought him to his senses.
The Trial, Franz Kafka (1925)


©2020 Phoebe Eustance