The bridge is over, the noise is not

Sylvain Souklaye – Brooklyn USA



The bridge is over, the noise is not is an environmental performance about the politics of noise and collective loneliness.

The bridge is over, the noise is not is a thirty-minute walking and thinking act of perdition during rush hour, when only the noise of headphones and disconnected dialogues can compete for my inner sonic chaos. Behind a mask, among an army of workers surrounding noisy and mechanical agencies, I try to find myself, my thoughts and my voice and offer them to strangers.

No one is listening. No one can hear me.

New York is the natural habitat of the politics of noise, and capitalism is the invisible leverage dictating our automated behaviors. While walking on the bridge, I am able to feel my voice disappear between cars, bikes, streaming services spitting out compressed music and the subway choreography.

When my thoughts and feelings are not enough, I read the voiceless graffiti on the asphalt and every architectural opportunity. Silenced words are my last anchor.

While crossing the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I can perceive the end of humanity. The progressive darkness doesn’t make us gradually shadows, but the noise does.

The linguistics of noise operates as a high power. Members of the human factory don’t have to talk about it, we just have to believe in it.

We don’t see each other. We can’t hear ourselves.

We can’t feel when the other is no more.

There is no us, not even I, just the noise.




Sylvain Souklaye is a Brooklyn-based French multi-modal artist. He is obsessed with sampling intimacies about people who don’t belong to a determinate identity, gender, class, colour or nationality.

Sylvain Souklaye performances are a collage of individual memories which are relived for and via the audience.

Self-taught, he began performing with vandalism in Lyon, and then intimate happenings, radio experimentation and action poetry. He later developed digital art installations using field recording techniques as a narrative layer while pursuing his writer’s path.

Among his best-known pieces are la blackline, a 5-year durational radio performance about socio-economic survival and urban absurdity, le déserteur a digital art installation dwelling on the notion of abandonment, TME a docudrama performance exploring self-inflicted amnesia and resilience and MIGRANT MARKET a remake of the slave market updated for the uber economy.

Sylvain Souklaye methods characteristically involve intense physical acts as well as the use of unsettling intimacy.