The Silent Period
In collaboration with Or Zubalsky
Three-channel sound installation, paper contract
The “Silent Period” is a term used in the study of linguistics to describe the stage during which a new language learner refuses to speak her/his new language. In this multi-channel sound installation, Ngô and Zubalsky mobilize the phrase as a metaphor for possible strategies of resistance against impositions of a dominant language, often implicated in and enacted on multiple registers of culture, education, commerce, and governance. Through strategic uses of silence in the reading of appropriated texts, the installation renders a 'lack' of spoken language production into a call for acts of critical listening.