Images from Recent Activities

Pieces // A Partial List: 2000-present

In Process:

One of Many Possible Irreconciliations Between the Finite and the Infinite for Madison Square Park in New York City. A playful intro to the project in The New York Times 4/10/16 // Park’s description of the work-in-progress here


Recent Activities:

A new text has been published in the Okayama Art Summit catalog – 10/2016

Get a (Control) Room aka “Behind the Curtain” essay collaboration with filmmaker Courtney Stephens for Art Los Angeles Reader – 2/2017

Figures in Air: Essays Toward a Philosophy of Audio by Adam Michaels’ new imprint Inventory Press with design by Project Projects has nearly sold out of its first pressing and will be continuing into a second edition in English and Spanish.

Visiting Artist at Aalto University’s Media Factory 10/15-1/15/16

Talk at PrintRoom in Rotterdam about the origins of Figures in Air as part of NY Art Book Fair PrintRoom’s Pick – October 30 6-8pm

Talk around Figures in Air at Sound Studies Forum at The Public School LA – January 19, 730pm

Panel around Figures in Air and my recent work at New York Public Library’s Artists in Dialogue series with Justin Luke and others – March 24, 2015 6-8pm

Sound Spray Fountain Overlay – Collaboration with designer Giacomo Castagnola for the Papalote Museum in Cuernavaca, Mexico – Nov 2014 / March 2015
Temporaneity Formula Development Workshop in Merida, Mexico at Interfaz, Yucatan – Nov 19-22 2014
On the horizon:
Sphere Cloud Surface Space (building a time machine, looking for investors!)
An extension of my air-as-material projects as a public work for NYC
More to be quietly announced here in the US, EU, and Mexico


2015 Answers Are How Questions Are Lost to Ideology (Air Rooms LA) for The Installation Project at Winward School Los Angeles – Jan/Feb/March 2015 – Opening / Discussion Feb 25th 6-8pm, reception Feb 27th 7-9pm

2014 MusicX, large scale time-based installation, video, audio, architecture, furniture, prints, and publicity. With audio/score by composer Adam Schoenberg and Director/Actor Brett Leonard. Co-commissioned by the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Grand Rapids Symphony. [Curator, AJ Paschka] MusicX Concept Store Experience Tour (15′) + MusicX Hypnosis Video (5′)

2013 Air Rooms Prototype, A hardware, software, and architectural system for experiencing compositions articulated as shifting masses of air, MIT Cube, Cambridge MA 

2013 One of Many Impossible Reconciliations Between the Finite and Infinite, MIT Thesis, MIT Cube, Cambridge MA

2013 Burdock Systems 1, A system of pages: texts, photographs, diagrams, audio, MIT Cube, Cambridge MA

2012 *asterisk linz, OK-Platz, OK Centrum, Linz Austria [Georg Nussbaumer / Genoveva Rueckert, Curators] Description and Audio 

2013 Real and Permanent Good, Perfume + Rapid PrototypingMIT Media Lab E15

2011 How to Know You Are in a Room With No Walls, Palais de Tokyo, online project as part of Repondeur [Rahma Khazam, Curator w/Claire Szulc] Screenshots Description in English

2011 history of libya to themes from the nutcracker as told by muammar gaddafi while in hiding YouTube video, puppet/object theater, sketch for in-development human scale production 

2011Silence is Sexy, text / videos for ArteEast’s Quarterly Magazine, [Hakan Topal, Curator]

2011 Sound Installation, What Happens When, with Chef John Fraser and designers Elle Vos and Emilie Baltz – multi-zone sound project for experimental restaurant in SoHO (NYC) Blanche Magazine New York Times Edible Manhattan Kickstarter Blog Audio

2010 Renovo multichannel performance for the Floating Points Festival, Issue Project Rooml NYC, July 2010, [Stephan Moore, Curator]

2010  Sixty seconds for Electroacoustic Cadavre Exquis, Musica Viva Festival, Lisbon Portugal [Miguel Azguime, Curator]

2009 The End of Safari Commissioned Installation for Mass MoCA, April 2009-Feb 2010, [Denise Markonish, Curator] Photo Documentation and Audio 
2008 You and Me, Going eight channel sound installation, MATA Festival commission, [Michael J. Schumacher, Curator] Audio
2007 Nine Mountain Process for 15-30 participants, tuned aluminum sculptures, choreography, prose score
2007 Taking: The Pulse of a Medium, Text + 2 Audio Pieces for the first Journal of the Valkenberg Hermitage, Berlin
[Chris Kelley, Curator]
2006 The Phoenix, a twelve-channel public outdoor sound installation commissioned by the City of New
Haven [Denise Markonish, Curator] Hartford Courant Review New Haven Independent Preview
2006 Return to Sender six channel soundtrack for a video by Treva Wurmfeld [Bethany Wright, Curator]
2006 not music music performance for Movement Research Festival [w/ Koosil-Ja Huang,
Curator + Performer]
2006 blank lineup for “Group Show I” at Diapason Gallery for Sound, NYC [Michael Schumacher, Curator]
2005 empty cartoon music commissioned by Carley Petesch for her dance company [Dance Theater
Workshop NYC premier]
2005 *asterisk for twelve broken grand pianos, twelve loudspeakers, and transduced glass [Kari  Conte,
2004 Blood on Hands: Dedicated to Soldiers Acting Against Their Conscience, for Prepared Pianist and
Prepared Piano commissioned by Nuke Magazine Paris
2004 Creative Diplomacy I: North Korea unsolicited public art proposal for decommissioned propaganda
loudspeakers from Kim Jong-il’s regime relocated to several public spaces across the United States, funding and concept
proposal to USA President’s office
2004 falling music,for 1000 tambourine chimes slowly replacing the leaves of one or more deciduous trees [unrealized]
2004 carousels [parallax], 19 transcriptions of pedestrian movement, 19 metronomes, 1000′ wire –
Commissioned for Wandering Rocks Revolving Doors exhibition as part of the Centennial Bloomsday
2002 Anthem for solo voice, live electronics [Supercollider], eight loudspeakers
2002 be still take up as much space as possible, a sequence of prose scores
2002 Scale for just-intonation synthesizer and shortwave radio, available on Stasisfield Records
2002 Soundtrack for Paper a film by David McDougall
2001 Very Brief Piece for String Quartet and Ball Bearings [For Alvin Lucier]
2001 Touch for Halcyon tone generators, fractal noise, guitar, and video, available on Stasisfield
2000 murmurs, a series of short works based on electrocardiograms of outpatients from Athol Memorial

Artifactual Audios

You and Me, Going This piece was originally eight channels, but was composed to function well in stereo. It’s a kind of sound-object-theater where many ways of listening are suggested in rapid succession.

There is also the work How to Know You Are in a Room With No Walls which was made the Palais de Tokyo website and can be heard at the link above.

The aural legibility of my other pieces is minimal outside of the contexts they were created for – they weren’t intended to function alone either acoustically (as portable audio) or to exist for private listening online.

For example, in The End of Safari there were three different types of sound diffusion used, none of which is possible to represent well in a recording (one hypersonic speaker on a pan/tilt head, two beheaded mythological creatures who had speakers hidden in their bodies, and ten additional channels diffused invisibly). You can listen to an excerpt here:

In *asterisk the audio is an activating force for a sculpture of broken pianos. Arranged on their sides with speakers directed toward the soundboards, away from the listener, the resulting aurality was very physical, embodied by the pianos at human scale. The listener moved around the sculpture finding new ways to hear the piece as sound built-up and disappeared, leaving only the “spectral ghosts”, the unique resonances of the instruments. In one version of the piece, these  sounds were then transmitted to the outdoors via glass transducers.

For The Phoenix the sounds moved around the park twenty feed overhead, interactively spatialized with infra-red sensors, reconfiguring the piece in real-time. New algorithmic “bagatelles” would be triggered as buses departed, and the sound materials were correlated to the time of day, day of week, month – the weather.

All this to explain why audio artifacts from these projects (and artifacts from many artists working with sound over the past 40 years) may be more misleading as to my practice than they are engaging and clarifying.



Video Documents



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Curatorial // Archive Directions

Maryanne Amacher Archive-Related
2009 to Present- Maryanne Amacher Archive / Additional Tones / SUPREME CONNECTIONS
2011 – Maryanne Amacher, City-Links, Ludlow 38 Gallery NYC w/Axel Weider, Tobi Maier, and Robert The
2012 – Maryanne Amacher component of Sound Art. Sound as Medium in Art  (March – January 2013)
2012 – Maryanne Amacher component of FUTURE ARCHIVE at N.B.K Berlin w/Robert The (June)
2012 – Maryanne Amacher exhibition at Gelbe Musik w/Bill Dietz (March)
2012 – Maryanne Amacher workshop and exhibition at DAAD Galerie, Berlin w/Axel Weider, Bill Dietz, Robert The + SUPREME CONNECTIONS (July)
2012 – SUPREME CONNECTIONS installation at TATE Modern, London (August)
2012 – SUPREME CONNECTIONS installation at Sao Paulo Bienniale (September)

2014- Intelligent Life exhibition w/Axel Weider, Bill Dietz, Robert The- Bonn Kunstverein, Germany

You can read the remembrance of Maryanne I wrote here

Selected Projects from EMPAC: 2006-2012
Links take you to the EMPAC event page with further information.

Steven Connor, The Chronopher, Commissioned Essay 2009
Maryanne Amacher (unfinished), Sound Performance w/3D characters
OpenEnded Group UPENDING, Sterescopic Video Performance with new foley-like recording of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet 1 (w/FLUX Quartet) 2009
Yvon Bonenfant Beacons, Live Vocal + Video Performance 2009
Sean Griffin Cold Spring, Media Opera 2010
Francis and The Lights, The White Room, Live and telematic spectacle, October 2011
Michael J. Schumacher Room Pieces Troy, Building-wide sound installation, 2010
Francisco Lopez, Hyper-Rainforest, 80 speaker performance w/audience on observation deck, 2011

Catherine Sullivan with Sean Griffin: Triangle of Need, The Chittendens & D-Pattern 
Michael J. Schumacher, Room Pieces Troy
Celeste Boursier-Mouganot, Untitled and Index v.4
Volkmar Klien, Relative Realities


Filament (co-curated biennial festival), October 2010

So Percussion | Dirty Projectors, January 2007
Flux Quartet, February 2007
Natasha Barrett: electronic music, May 2007
Between a Rock and a Tiny Bell Mini-festival w/Han Bennink+Peter Brötzmann, Blarvuster, ZS, Health, Black Moth Super Rainbow, April 2008
EMPAC’s Opening
Inaugural Concert (Albany Symphony, VOX Vocal Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble) October 2008
Cecil Taylor Poetry Reading
Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening Workshop
Cecil Taylor and Pauline Oliveros solos and duet concert
Gamelan Galak Tika and Ensemble Robot
Per Tengstrand solo concert
OPEN LATE: Madlib (dj), Juiceboxxx (rapper), J.Rocc (dj)
Robert Normandeau 32-channel electronic music concert
FIELDWORK (Steve Lehman, Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey)
Arraymusic, November 2008
Zeroth Channel: Music of Hans Tutschku and Iannis Xenakis
Quicksilver: Sile Moderno: New music from the 17th Century 
Zeroth Channel II: Doug Henderson, Seth Cluett, Natasha Barrett 
Unfiction on Safari: Olaf Breuning, Coco Fusco + Guillermo Gomez-Peña + Bela Fleck screening 
Realization of Alvin Lucier’s Music for Solo Performer, September 2009
Daniel Teige and Volkmar Klien, October 2009
Garth Knox, November 2009
OpenEnded Group, March 2010
Signal: Helmut Lachenmann, March 2010
Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Febuary 2011
Earbrains: Sonic Research Underground

Lectures / Screenings / One-off Events
Anthony Braxton 12(+1)tet: Ghost Trance Music, October 2007
Slavoj Žižek: Perverts Guide to Cinema, January 2008
Jonathan Berger: Data Speaks. Are you listening? March 2008
Election 08: Take Me to Your Leader, November 2008 
In a Glass Hour: Alfred Crosby lecture, November 2008
Unfiction: Our Daily Bread screening, December 2008
Sean Griffin: Hitting Things, Saying Things January 2009
Bobby McFerrin January 2009
Rafael Toral, May 2009
Contact Ensemble, September 2009
Boredoms + Deerhunter, September 2009
Per Tengstrand, October 2009
Art21 preview, October 2009
ZS + Little Women, October 2009
Marc Downie: The Secret World of Making Art by Writing Code, November 2009
Marc Downie: FIELD Workshop November 2009
Prefuse73, Skeleton$, Luciano Chessa November 2009
Unfiction: Examined Life screening, November 2009
Extra Life + Dan Deacon, February 2010
Frederick Rzweski, March 2010
Josephine Foster, April 2010
Steve Lehman Octet, May 2010
Georg Frederich Haas – Argento Chamber Ensemble – , November 2010 
Jaroslaw Kapuschinski

Residencies/Commissions resulting in performances or publication
OpenEnded Group
Maryanne Amacher
Yvon Bonenfant
Sean Griffin: Hitting Things, Saying Things and Cold Spring
Daniel Teige:
Volkmar Klien
SIGNAL + Jack Quartet w/ Brad Lubman
FLUX Quartet
Hans Tutschku
Bruce Odland and Sam Aunger
Helmut Lachenmann
Luciano Chessa with Keith Cary (collaboration with Performa NYC)
National Theater of the United States of America
Argento Chamber Ensemble
Francisco Lopez
Talea Ensemble (music of Romitelli)
Pauline Oliveros and Cecil Taylor (solo improvisation, duo improvisation, poetry reading)

Writing // READING


2013/2014 (2015 publication) – Figures in Air my first book with Inventory Press ships September 2015. ISBN 9781941753019 Buy it here

An extract from Figures in Air in the Design Observer Quarterly

Essay in Zetesis Vol 2.  ‘Twice Upon A Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses’ Available here. ISBN 978-1-873352-10-6


Minimalism is Murder – A series of essays on oedipal acts of negation and their offspring.

Against Connoisseurship  – A series of essays on being good.



2014- Sound, Audio, Music // Physics, Imaginaries, Intentions– Essay draft read at Birmingham City University’s Center for Fine Arts Research 6/24/2014

2014- Sound, Audio, Music // Physics, Imaginaries, Intentions– Essay draft read at Goldsmiths College, London 5/18/2014 as part of Sound Art Curating conference

2013- Prelude to a Series of Possible Intersects / Preludio a una serie de posibles intersecciones An essay written on the occasion of Alejandro Castanos’ exhibition at MUAC exploring the idea and possibility of what I was calling graphic listening. Also an interview / chat transcript we had while he was considering the piece and I was writing about these ideas. The book is available at MUAC and elsewhere in Mexico City in English and Spanish. ISBN 9786070251764

2012- What is in a Museum? – A text written to be spoken by a third voice, placed in dialogue with reconfigured performed texts by Alan Kaprow and Robert Smithson from their exchanged published as What is a Museum? A dialogue. for the audio work commissioned by Palais de Tokyo called HOW TO YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN A ROOM WITH NO WALLS

2011- Brief catalog text for the Maryanne Amacher room that was installed as part of ZKM’s survey of sound art. The room was documentation of her unfinished piece for EMPAC that had been in process for a few years before her passing in 2009.

2011– Silence is Sexy – Written for ArtEast’s Spring 2011 Magazine. A first attempt to reflect on notions of silence that are alternatives to the Cagean hold on the concept within music and art.

2006-2011- Many program notes and introductory texts for the events found here

2011- An interview with Sean Griffin about the opera I commissioned/produced at EMPAC called Cold Spring, published on NewMusicBox.

2011- Nature is Not an Algorithm – a short text written for the Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s exhibition I curated at EMPAC

2009– tribute to Maryanne Amacher written emotionally the day after she passed; more writing on Maryanne is forthcoming as her archive is established.

2007Taking: The Pulse of a Medium A text for the Journal of the Valkenberg Hermitage, Berlin. Two audio examples accompanied the journal on a CD.




Who Is

First person, temporary:

My participation in culture consists of producing scenarios within which a set of ideas and experiences can unfold. These scenes often point to core questions that I’ve been asking through many materials, strategies, and roles for the past decade. In each case, a highly speculative proposition is made, and it points toward ways of thinking that strategically emphasize the importance of an increasing sense of what’s possible; an awareness of alternatives. In the sense Piaget used the term schema, I think that art, especially time-based forms, are a kind of essential schematic play.

In the past I’ve worked extensively with audio as a means to use air as material. My interest was to change a room or a public space with an invisible shift in the energy, or to install objects or a scent that functions as a “set” for a dramaturgy that would unfold for the ears. These have been topical, political, sensual, and musical. But recently my work has begun to involve less audio and more diagrams, text, and means of exploring time-based forms in the absence of sound. This is the direction of my work at the moment. (February 2014)


Third person, formal:

Silver’s work has been produced by Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Mass MoCA, OK Centrum (Austria) the Jersey City Museum, Issue Project Room (NYC), Artspace New Haven, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, The James Joyce Centre (Dublin), Museum of Sex (NYC), The Place (St. Petersburg), and the MATA Festival (NYC), ArteEast, among others in the USA and abroad.

Since 2003 Silver has also been active as a co-conspirator in the work of other artists. He was Director of the Earle Brown Music Foundation (Brown’s archive) from 2002-2006, Associate Curator at Diapason Gallery (NYC) from 2003-2006, and from 2006 to the end of 2011 was the founding Curator for music and sound at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).

In 2009 he co-initiated the Maryanne Amacher Archive and in addition to facilitating the establishment of a long-term home for the materials has been facilitating exhibitions and performance research surrounding the artifacts of her practice.

SUPREME CONNECTIONS, a collective of recent Amacher collaborators continue the research continuum of initiated during life, constructing a mobile, living archive concept of how contingent performance and sound practices can be distributed. This collective has worked with DAAD in Berlin, TATE Modern in London, and the Sao Paulo Biennial.

Silver holds a degree in Music Composition from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Science in Architecture (Art, Culture, and Technology) from MIT. | present |  2006-2012 |  2009-present |  2002-2006 | 2003-2006

If  you would like to view a (perhaps) up-to-date cv take a leap to google docs


Email: My first and last name at

Cell in the USA or via Google Voice: +1 347 446 0047

Cell in Mexico City: +52 55 6286 7333

Or Skype: micahsilver

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