(For a supreme example, we need not look further than John Cage, who even during his most forceful imposition of silence was in dynamic dialogue with the audience upon which silence was being imposed.) Sontag, in fact, shined a sidewise gleam on this notion three years earlier in her masterwork of an audience.It would mean that the spectator was aware of no stimulus or that he was unable to make a response…
For, to be a victim of the craving for silence is to be, in still a further sense, superior to everyone else.
It suggests that the artist has had the wit to ask more questions than other people, and that he possesses stronger nerves and higher standards of excellence.
Art is no longer understood as consciousness expressing and therefore, implicitly, affirming itself.
Art is not consciousness per se, but rather its antidote — evolved from within consciousness itself.
(Put otherwise: if a work exists at all, its silence is only one element in it.) Instead of raw or achieved silence, one finds various moves in the direction of an ever receding horizon of silence — moves which, by definition, can never be fully consummated., where Alice encounters a shop “full of all manner of curious things,” and yet whenever she looks closely at any one shelf, it appears “quite empty, though the others round it were crowded full as they could hold.” Silence, similarly, is relational rather than absolute: “Silence” never ceases to imply its opposite and to depend on its presence: just as there can’t be “up” without “down” or “left” without “right,” so one must acknowledge a surrounding environment of sound or language in order to recognize silence…
A genuine emptiness, a pure silence is not feasible — either conceptually or in fact.
It is contradictory not only because the artist continues making works of art, but also because the isolation of the work from its audience never lasts…
Goethe accused Kleist of having written his plays for an “invisible theatre.” But eventually the invisible theatre becomes “visible.” The ugly and discordant and senseless become “beautiful.” The history of art is a sequence of successful transgressions.
Something is neutral only with respect to something else — like an intention or an expectation.
As a property of the work of art itself, silence can exist only in a cooked or non-literal sense.