Silent words

Silent Words is a public art installation meant to spread awareness about the extent of abuse, harassment and violence of sexual nature happening in a community. It aims to encourage denizens to share their experiences and stories to break a silence created by social structures around this topic. It is an open source art project which allows communities to download the files and setup the installation in their communities. Silent words was designed with a focus on the urban Indian society. As an installation ‘Silent Words’ intends to bring digital movements and conversations about this topic to the physical space.

Tools: Arduino + Sparkfun mp3shield or Raspberry Pi, Nodejs, Twilio,

Press: Coding Train Livestream, Alliance of Women in Media Arts and Technology conference

Systems Diagram of the installation

Systems Diagram of the installation

What is the project about:

The installation takes the form of a tree. The structure has audio jacks around the trunk where users can insert a 3.5mm headphone cable into the sculpture and listen to audio recordings of sexual abuse left by users anonymously. The tree lights up in different sequences every time it recognizes that a user has interacted with it by listening to someone's story or if someone has left the tree a voice message.

Laser etched parts and the structure

Laser etched parts and the structure

What will the audience experience:

The installation prompts the user to interact with it in one of two ways - You can contribute a story or you can listen. A sign on the tree prompts the user to call the tree. Headphones hung on  the branches attached to audio jacks in the bark prompt users to listen. If a user decides to call the tree, the tree through an automated calling service responds with a description of what the installation is about and asks if the user wants to share an experience or story and it guides the user through the process of doing so. If the user decides to listen, they dive into voice recordings left anonymously.