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This is an experiment with the shared materialities and experiences of silence on Zoom, often a cacophony of noise where the Mute button is a proxy for silencing. All conference delegates are welcome to quietly drop in to the session, where we attune to silence and reflect on its embodied presence.
In downtown Helsinki, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence offers a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, encouraging visitors to experience of silence as a shared communication—an everyday social practice that is particularly poignant in Finland. Yet Western logocentric binaries and the favouring of voiced expression in ethnographic writing have left ethnologists often preoccupied with sounds over silences. This laboratory session experiments with the lived materialities and shared experiences of silence on Zoom, a space that is often a cacophony of noise/s and voicings, and where pressing the Mute button becomes a proxy for silencing. Visitors to this session are encouraged to commune together in a quiet and still online space, attuning to an environment of unsounded space and reflecting on silence as an embodied presence permeating discourses of power, dominance and legitimacy. The session makes up part of the conference's social programme, so there is no need to register or prepare anything. Just quietly drop in!