Be Quiet!? Try Silence!?

In August of 2011, the Central Park Conservancy, in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, unveiled a new strategy in its quest to sustain "the Park's standard of excellence"—a wayshowing° program that demarcates eight of the most popular, highly-trafficked destinations as "Quiet Zones." According to Conservancy president, Douglas Blonsky, this initiative will "help visitors have as rich an experience as possible in the Park…by telling them: ‘Do This! Try This!'" Amongst the 1,500 directives that punctuate the pastoral paradise: "No Musical Instruments. No Amplified Sound." In other words, Be Quiet!? Try Silence!?

Shh...You're In A Fucking [Quiet] Zone interrogates the [re]presentation and [re]production of NYC Parks and Recreation Title 56.105.D that dictates: "No person shall make, or cause, or allow to be made, unreasonable noise …so as to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or harm." During the performance musicians, situated in each of the Quiet Zones played Silence—a musical score that necessitates all the behaviors associated with making music but falls short of generating sound, thus amplifying the everyday cacophony known as New York City.

Silence. Produced by Kiersten Nash and performed by Matthais Krek, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, 20 October 2011.