Sounds Like Silence

Publication | 2012 | 25,00 €

The title of this book and the exhibition it documents—Sounds Like Silence—is ambiguous. On the one hand, silence effectively ›sounds‹— ›There is no such thing as silence,‹ as Cage himself put it. On the other hand, sound needs silence in order to be heard. Even if complete silence does not exist, every sound implicitly conveys the notion of silence: there is no presence without absence. The double meaning of Sounds Like Silence therefore touches upon the central issues at stake in this project: what do we hear when there is nothing to hear; to what extent do we long for silence; and how much silence can we cope with—
provided it even exists? John Cage’s 4' 33" (four minutes, thirty-three seconds) premiered on
August 29, 1952. This book presents new theoretical writings and artistic works referring to this groundbreaking work, together with original scores and the composer’s own variations, derivatives, and sequels of the ›silent piece‹ in the years from 1962 to 1992.

Awarded The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2012


Sounds Like Silence


Dieter Daniels, Inke Arns

Graphic design

Pascal Storz, Jacob Kirch, Leipzig




English, Supplement in German


24 x 33 cm, 290 pp., b/w, many illustrations


Spector Books




25,00 €


With texts by Inke Arns, Brandon LaBelle, Dieter Daniels, David Toop, Dörte Schmidt, Julia H. Schröder, and Jan Thoben.

Anthology with contributions by Hans-Friedrich Bormann, John Cage, William Fetterman, Kyle Gann, Branden W. Joseph, Douglas Kahn, Jonathan David Katz, Irwin Kremen, Liz Kotz, Julia Robinson, Simon Shaw Miller, and James Pritchett.

Artists’ contributions by Dave Allen, Heinrich Böll, Manon de Boer, Jens Brand, Klaus vom Bruch, John Cage, Cage Against the Machine, Martin Conrads, Martin Creed, Merce Cunningham, Paul Davis, Guy Debord, Christopher DeLaurenti, Einstürzende Neubauten, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Jens Heitjohann, Pierre Huyghe, Jonathon Keats, Yves Klein, Kollektivnye Deystviya (Collective Actions), Christoph Korn, Shigeko Kubota, Brandon LaBelle, Henning Lohner, Christian Marclay, Ciprian Mureşan, Bruce Nauman, Max Neuhaus, Nam June Paik, People Like Us (Vicki Bennett), Hein-Godehart Petschulat, Robert Rauschenberg, Matt Rogalsky, Matthieu Saladin, Harald Schmidt, Helge Schneider, Petri Söderström-Kelley, Mladen Stilinović, Ultra-red, Stephen Vitiello, Gillian Wearing, and Dick Whyte.

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