Ilya Kaminsky, I See a Silence
Ukrainian/American poet Ilya Kaminsky’s work Deaf Republic was heralded as one of the most original books of 2019.

I See a Silence, his new lyric work for Artangel, combined poetry and prose to form the centrepiece of a soundscape for walking the Ness, produced by acclaimed audio designer Axel Kacoutié with the voices of Neil Brennan, Ilya Kaminsky and Zakia Sewell.

Drawn to the singular ecology of the landscape and the flora and fauna that both preceded and survived decades of weapons research, Kaminsky’s ‘poetry of place’ uncannily evoked a landscape of the imagination. The journey began at the Bomb Ballistics building, where a panoramic viewing platform looks out across the vast shingle stretching towards the sea.

Visitors were able to experience I See a Silence whilst wearing headphones and walking between the different buildings on Orford Ness.

A three-part series featuring Axel Kacoutié’s inner world on The Heart

What is the etymology of your being?

Axel Kacoutié offers a vivid personal essay reflecting on language, bilingualism and the curated gaps they have to navigate in order to access their culture and sense of self.

“Your language is a spell, an invocation speaking you into existence, rediscovering the contours of your morality, the fabric of your race and gender and how you relate to others and the world…”

Featuring the voices of the poet Raymond Antrobus and performance artist Rachel Cheung, Axel weaves together the thoughts of a number of multilingual people – including Derick Armah, Irina Niculescu, Mauricio Loseto, Olivia Melkonian, Radhika Viswanathan and Rosel Jackson Stern – into a reflection on living between languages and finding yourself in the gaps.

Illustration: Erin Tse
Animation: Luke Dye-Montefiore

Produced by Axel Kacoutié
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

What art thou?

Please do not touch the paintings or other exhibits, and do not cross barriers.

A frenzy exultations she commands with soft vibrations
that induce a meditation
from her touch, ah! from her vivifying touch upon my skin.

Two strangers and the illusion of a life lived together.

Waking in the Temple by Axel Kacoutié (the signal house edition issue #5)

Listen and Read

A version of a memory where Bram Stoker’s Dracula became medicine for one dark night.

About Night Vision: In new after-hours listening on Radio 4, the team behind the award-winning Wireless Nights present three acoustically rich journeys through three long nights of the soul. Nights that left an indelible mark on the storyteller.

(image: Courbevoie, Factories by Moonlight (ca. 1882–1883) by Georges Seurat)