Google Arts & Culture

A short film sharing the
hidden secrets of silence

Silence can work wonders for the human body, slowing our heart rates and even helping us grow new brain cells. Google Arts & Culture asked Lovers to design a meditative short film turning these health benefits into a digital experience.

THE BRIEF

Silence is universally familiar and yet commonly overlooked. Google Arts & Culture asked us to surface the under-appreciated side of silence by working with artists to help show it in a new way. Embracing film as our medium, we designed a meditative audiovisual experience, accessible to a global audience online.

Ten years in silence

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Our research led us to Germany-based artist and filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, who had been quietly documenting silence with his camera for a decade. In his words “there is always silence, we just don’t always hear it”. We worked with Thomas to curate his visual observations into a six minute wander through multiple silences.

nothing or something?

After a decade observing it, Thomas believes that silence is something greater than pure absence. From a health perspective scientists seem to agree. Our research pointed to multiple studies defining silence as a tonic for human minds and bodies, something biology and medicine are continuing to learn and understand.

Filling The Void

WHAT’S THAT SOUND?

Embracing richness over emptiness, we enlisted sound artist Kira Belin to create a 'sonically rich' silence to accompany the films visuals. Designed to swell and fall in nine second cycles, the score gently insists on a slowing of the viewer’s breathing pattern – and thereby heart rate – approximating the slowing effects that silence can have on us physically.

One-Two, One-Two

creative production

Using binaural microphones, underwater hydrophones and other unusual recording techniques, Kira’s sounds offer a version of silence the viewer has never discovered. The piece explores sound grains, listens to ants, examines air bubbles and follows electrical cables, all leading to a place of stillness and subtly-induced physical calm.