Silence, a Drone

Rhett Tsai

Creation media and date
Sound, video, 2020

Silence, a Drone is an experiment in Chinese character sound writing by artist Rhett Tsai using the Max program and is a continuation of his Smart City series. Moreover, this work is a response to the crisis caused by the age of the smart city and the so-called digital humans. The interface of this work shows 18 avatars of Joe, a virtual person. The human voice poetry in this work describes the story of Joe, a citizen living in the smart city of “WeCity”, and the words that cannot be uttered (sensitive words) in WeCity turn into long drones. In this work, you can read and understand the texts in any direction.
In this work, the artist presents a critical reflection on the current media society (especially China’s social media environment where sensitive words abound) in the form of a sound poem. Using granular synthesis, the artist transforms the parts of the human voice that touch on sensitive words into lasting drones. On the one hand, it responds to the “unspeakable” and “silent” nature of sensitive words, and on the other hand, the resonance of these eighteen drones constitutes, in a sense, a collective voice of “silence”.