“The Garden of Earthly Delights”, Website interactivo

Director: Pieter van Huijstee
Vía tuinderlusten jheronimus bosch

Website recomendado por Mariana Chávez Berrón colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum

Jheronimus Bosch, el Jardín de las Delicias Terrestres es un proyecto documental interactivo que ofrece un recorrido profundo a través de “The Garden of Earthly Delights” a partir de una interfaz web, el visitante será llevado a un viaje de narración audiovisual que incluye sonidos, música, vídeos e imágenes.

Mariana Chávez Berrón


Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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William Eggleston: Who’s Afraid of Magenta, Yellow and Cyan?

William Eggleston: Who’s Afraid of Magenta, Yellow and Cyan?

By: The ASX Team
Via ASX| July 1, 2015

Article recommended by Angélica Escoto from Mexico, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

Eggleston’s wife Rosa remembers being awestruck when she saw his first slides beam out of their home projector, a quintessential “amateur” moment after the road trip, a travelogue (or, alternatively, how one might vet images for a fashion shoot before printing them for publication). “It was so saturated and so intense,” she said. “It was astounding to see color like that.”

By Anna Kerrer Kivlan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007 – The first part in a multi-part text on Eggleston.

Eggleston brought MoMA around eight carousels of slides made around 1970 from which Szarkowski chose seventy-five for the exhibition and, of those, forty-eight for publication in the Guide.

Despite their ostensive similarity to the amateur snapshot, noted disparagingly by Thornton and Kramer, the pictures were not made with the Kodak lnstamatic or Polaroid one might have taken on a family vacation, but rather with a Leica. That small camera carried with it a mystique, for it signaled a commitment to photography as art, and had been used by the most highly regarded black and white photographers Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, and Eggleston’s role-model, Henri Cartier-Bresson. The fact that the Guide was the result of work done with a high-art Leica is significant, for during the time leading up to Eggleston’s exhibition, color photography had been denigrated as emphatically not art. It was badmouthed by photographers such as Evans (enshrined for his photographs of the Great Depression), who wrote in the late 1969 book of essays edited by Louis Kronenberger, Quality: Its Image in the Arts, “There are four simple words for the matter, which must be whispered: color photography is vulgar.” By this logic, Evans concluded that color film was an ideal medium for the rendering of subjects that were likewise vulgar.

When the point of a picture subject is precisely its vulgarity or its color-accident through man’s hands not God’s, then only can color film be used validly…. Almost always, color can be used well only by a photographer who is an artist of perfect taste-Marie Cosindas for example-and of immense technical mastery; for color has to be controlled and altered from start to finish by selection of film, by lens filters, and in developing and printing.”

Frank, who had been lauded for his searing 1959 documentary series, The Americans, was known to have concluded simply that “black and white are the colors of photography.” As with Evans, Frank’s opinion was not to be taken lightly; in Szarkowski’s esteemed view, the Swiss photographer’s The Americans series was one of the works that established the main thrust of photography in the fifties, along with the 1952 founding of the photography journal Aperture by Minor White.

Color film had been on the market since the 1930s-as early as 1948, articles in The New York Times covered amateur exhibitions featuring multiple-toned color prints while new developers were offered that aimed to improve detail in color prints, through the Kodak Dye Transfer process. It is therefore telling that color photography did not come of age as an art form until the late 1960s.16 MoMA’s very first exhibition of color photographs was in 1962, featuring work by Ernest Haas.17 While Haas’s work, according to Szarkowski, was “handsome and even inventive,” it fell short of Eggleston’s later accomplishment because it was “dedicated to a basically familiar idea of beauty, one very indebted to painterly traditions.”18 MoMA’s next attempt at mastering the art of photographic color was a 1966 exhibition of the still life portfolio of Marie Cosindas. Invitations were mailed to thousands of Polaroid stockholders in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York on thick card stock with a glossy Cosindas Polaroid of flowers in a vase pasted on the front.19


Eggleston’s hobby was to watch thousands of rows of amateur snapshots being developed at the local photography lab.

According to a MoMA press release, the exhibition was the museum’s first to be devoted entirely to prints made by the Polaroid Land Process.20 The 4 x 5 prints “specially matted and mounted on color papers chosen by Miss Cosindas” were described as having “exotic color and startling detail.” To Szarkowski, the photographs-“as real and as unlikely as butterflies”- inhabited, as for him artistic photographs must, a timeless realm. Indeed, the images possessed an “otherworldliness” that referred to a “place and time not quite identifiable-a place with the morning-fresh textures and the opalescent light of a private Arcady, and to a time suspended, as in a child’s long holiday.”21 Ten years later, in the introductory essay to William Eggleston’s Guide, Szarkowski cited Cosindas’s work alongside Irving Penn’s as the few “conspicuous successes of color photography.” Yet neither Cosindas nor Penn had resolved the issue of color within the tradition of so-called “straight,” uncontrived photography. Their achievement had thus been less than Eggleston’s, having amounted only to “masterly studio constructions, designed to suit the preferences of the camera” and dependent on a “high degree of prior control over the material photographed.22

Critical and media response to the Haas and Cosindas exhibitions, and to Helen Levitt’s 1974 show of color slides as part of MoMA’s “Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art,” was meager in comparison to the coverage of Eggleston’s show two years later. In a short blurb about Levitt’s forty color slides of New York street life taken after 1971, The Village Voice took note of the color issue only by observing with disinterest: “Purists may feel that great documentary photos still come only in black and white.” Park East’s brief mention of the slide exhibition, which was “shown in continuous projection describing New York street life,” makes no mention whatsoever about color.23 Color film was, at the time, inseparably associated with magazines such as Life and Vogue, with television, Super 8 home movie cameras, and Technicolor movies. Color film was not the medium of the fine artist. It was better suited the director of raunchy, sex-and-violence-crazed double features shown at the local movie theater. How could the same medium exuberantly producing trash cinema be called upon to make something worthy of MoMA’s walls? Never before had such an inherently uncouth medium been smuggled into the rarefied world of high art. There was no mistaking it: color film was a wildcard for the art world.

Despite the less than honorable reputation of color, Eggleston’s wife Rosa remembers being awestruck when she saw his first slides beam out of their home projector, a quintessential “amateur” moment after the road trip, a travelogue (or, alternatively, how one might vet images for a fashion shoot before printing them for publication). “It was so saturated and so intense,” she said. “It was astounding to see color like that.”24 Around that time, Eggleston’s hobby was to watch thousands of rows of amateur snapshots being developed at the local photography lab. He remarked in a 1993 interview for History of Photography.

On a typical evening, maybe we might see twelve pictures on a ribbon a few inches wide, a continuous roll of paper. Maybe at one minute we might see twelve or fifteen pictures that two people made on their first trip after having been married, and they forgot to have them developed. And years later they sent them over and here I was looking at them… it was one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences as a whole-and educational for me.25

Asked in a recent phone conversation how viewing amateur photographs in a lab could influence the making of artistic photography, Eggleston spoke with emotion, placing the amateur photographs he had viewed somewhere in an idyllic past, which, coupled with their small size and grainy look, heightened their exquisiteness to him:

I had a close friend who worked there, not an artist, he managed a certain color lab, produced endless amounts of people’s snapshots, loved to see them come off the machine. He gave me a great many ideas. But this fellow was not an artist at all. He just managed this lab… they would develop a lot of rolls that people had taken many years back, on a honeymoon and were so beautiful, almost kind of grainy, but the prints were beautiful-little tiny small prints. I would enjoy spending time with him, I still love him. I would drop in and watch what was coming out.26



But Eggleston showed neither slides nor strips of commercially developed snapshots when it came time to produce the MoMA exhibition.7 Eggleston’s use of the dye transfer process, increasing the preciousness of the photographs as artistic objects, differentiated them from the typical snapshot they sometimes closely resembled.

The expense and time taken by the process limited the number of photographs reproduced. So tedious was the process that Kodak stopped making the materials used for dye transfer in the early 1990s.28  Dye transfer, Kodak’s proprietary process, renders the richest tones in color photography and was the most expensive printing process Eggleston could have chosen at the time. Each print cost him several hundred dollars and the multiple-step process took (and still takes) a minimum of three days per print. The printing press uses four separate printing plates, one each for the three primary colors (magenta, yellow, and cyan) and one for black. Each plate is engraved with a halftone image for one of the colors, which is coated with a thin layer of oil-based ink. The four plates then transfer their ink onto the surface of a sheet of blank paper to make the color pictures. The final picture is not created chemically on the paper, but rather assembled on the paper’s surface from four separate screened color images. Such challenges meant that, while Eggleston had been a proficient black and white printer, he stopped printing himself after he began shooting in color. Only a dedicated specialist could do the job. The expense, level of skill, and rarity of the dye transfer process rendered Eggleston’s images unattainable for the average person with a Polaroid camera. Thus, despite their apparent similarity to the snapshot (and the critical reaction such a similarity fueled), they were “art” indeed.29

Dye transfer was a process largely used in fashion photography, and Eggleston’s first printer in New York, Don Gottlinger, had worked primarily for the fashion industry.3 Fashion, however, is only rarely and anxiously art, no matter how many models stood in front of Jackson Pollock’s 1950 Autumn Rhythm.31 So while the battle to make photography an art form “had been fought and won” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by black and white photographers, most serious photographers in the late 1960s and early ’70s still believed that the formal problems of color-the exaggeration of hue and the difficulty of organizing color combinations-coupled with its ties to advertising and the commercially-developed casual snapshot rendered it coarse and difficult to work with.32




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Círculo de Poesía -sección de Artes

Círculo de Poesía

Director: Alí Calderón
Vía Círculo de Poesía 

Website recomendado por Mariana Chávez Berrón, colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum

ISSN 2007-5367 

El Círculo de Poesía es un colectivo abierto de poetas, académicos, críticos y gestores culturales que tiene como principal objetivo la difusión de la poesía en particular y de la cultura literaria en general.

Mediante acciones concretas como la creación, la crítica, la edición de libros, revistas y suplementos culturales, la impartición de talleres literarios, cursos y conferencias, así como recitales de poetas maduros y jóvenes, el Círculo de Poesía se propone contribuir a la formación de lectores y de nuevos críticos y escritores, acorde a las exigencias de nuestro tiempo. De ese modo se construirán nuevos modos de interlocución sobre la cultura, la realidad y las artes.

El estado actual de nuestra literatura nos obliga a repensarla con seriedad, con honestidad. Por ello, el Círculo de Poesía, sin mala fe, sin segundas intenciones, se pronuncia por un debate verdadero, ríspido a momentos pero siempre en el marco del respeto y la convivencia sana.

Círculo de Poesía. Revista electrónica de literatura está vinculada al Cuerpo Académico “Literatura y Cultura Mexicana: Tradición y Ruptura” de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, integrado por Mario Calderón Hernández, Víctor Contreras Toledo, Francisco Ramírez Santacruz y Alí Calderón.

Círculo de Poesía. Revista electrónica de literatura, año 5, es una Publicación semanal editada por Territorio Poético A.C., Azabache 136-A, Puebla, Puebla, México, CP 72574, Tel. (01222) 2161423 // C/ San Jerónimo 19,2 18001, Granada, España. Director: Alí Calderón. Editor: Mario Bojórquez. Editores asociados: Roberto Amézquita, Mijail  Lamas, Adalberto García López, Andrea Muriel, Fernando Valverde. Reserva de Derechos, Uso Exclusivo 04-2012-100316454200-203 otorgado por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. ISSN 2007-5367. Responsable de la última actualización de este Número Andrea Muriel. Camino al Batán 17 Puebla, Puebla, México, C.P. 72574. Fecha de última modificación 10 de febrero de 2014. Las opiniones expresadas por los autores no necesariamente reflejan la postura del editor de la publicación, ni la del editor refleja necesariamente la opinión de los colaboradores de la revista.

Imagen de portada: Mark Rothko 

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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Author: MIR

Website recomendado por Mariana Chávez Berrón, colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum

We aim to produce images that are outside the “3d architectural visualization” category.

Our focus is on creating a unique overall feeling in the image, instead of forcefully instructing the viewer in what to think and feel about the project.

A Mir image gives space for an individual experience.

1.Natural light
We want to create images that humans instinctively relate to and connect with. Manipulating away shadows or faking light can backfire and result in images that feel “disguisive” and unnatural.

2.Unforced process
Strawberry cake and T-bone steak are both good things, but it is not a given that they work together in a dish. Camera angle, lighting, colour, and composition are the key ingredients that together make up the foundation of an image. A poor foundation cannot be saved with flares, fog and effects.

3. Thoughtful use of markers
Images that over instruct the viewer what to think and feel about the project can be unappetizing. We keep things natural and palatable by questioning the use of any symbolic markers such as “Kids with Balloons” or “Trendy Shopping Girls”.

Crédito de foto de portada: Neumann Machine, Gensler NY – Wasteland cITY/Wasteland, 2014.

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Un libro de colorear que homenajea la belleza natural de la proporción áurea

Un libro de colorear que homenajea la belleza natural de la proporción áurea

Autor: mymodernmet
Vía Cultura Inquieta | Abril 23, 2016

Artículo recomendado por Karla Castillo, colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum


Las ilustraciones de Proporción Áurea dibujadas a mano por Rafael Araujo son una hermosa fusión del arte con la ciencia. Durante los últimos 40 años, el arquitecto e ilustrador venezolano ha estado perfeccionando sus sorprendentes dibujos, todos conectados por ese hilo conductor.

Armado de lápiz, compás, regla, transportador de ángulos y nada más, crea dibujos que representan la brillantez matemática del mundo natural y recientemente ha comenzado a recopilar versiones de sus mejores trabajos en un libro de colorear para adultos que busca el reencuentro de los seres humanos con la naturaleza.

Las ilustraciones de Araujo giran en torno a los inteligentes patrones de crecimiento gobernados por la Proporción Áurea. Este número especial, comúnmente anotado con la letra griega Phi (φ), es igual a 1,618 y se puede observar en todo tipo de espirales naturales, secuencias y proporciones.

“Phyllotaxis” es como se denomina  la tendencia de las cosas orgánicas a crecer en patrones en espiral y este patrón numérico se repite tan a menudo en la naturaleza que algunos investigadores lo han considerado una norma universal de perfección de estructuras, formas y proporciones.

Desde conchas de mar, hojas, cristales, e incluso alas de mariposa, podemos rastrear el número Phi a lo largo de nuestro entorno, una y otra vez.

Aplicar la Proporción Áurea a sus dibujos y dejar las líneas de construcción en las imágenes finales, permite a Araujo crear diseños que claramente gravitan alrededor de este marco matemático. Cada composición es cuidadosamente detallada y puede llevar hasta 100 horas al artista completar una sola de ellas.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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10 hermosas palabras japonesas que no existen en español

10 hermosas palabras japonesas que no existen en español

Autor: Yoshiaki Yamada
Vía Gutenberg | Enero, 2016

Artículo recomendado por Karla Castillo, colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum


En la cultura japonesa, la gente tiene un gran aprecio hacia la naturaleza y es muy importante el respeto y el ser amable con los demás. La cortesía y la apreciación de la naturaleza se reflejan en su idioma y en la creación de algunas palabras hermosas que nos son traducibles al español.

1. Itadakimasu い た だ き ま す

La palabra itadakimasu está relacionada con el principio budista de respetar a todos los seres vivos. Antes de las comidas, itadakimasu se dice para dar gracias a las plantas y animales que dieron su vida por la comida que vas a consumir. También agradece a todas las personas que han participado en el proceso de elaboración de la comida. Itadakimasu quiere decir “humildemente recibo”.

2. Otsukaresama おつかれさま

Otsukaresama significa “estás cansado”. Se utiliza para que alguien sepa que usted reconoce su esfuerzo y duro trabajo, y que está agradecido por ello.

3. Komorebi 木 漏 れ 日

Komorebi se refiere a la luz del sol que se filtra a través de las hojas de los árboles.

4. Kogarashi 木 枯 ら し

Kogarashi es el viento frío que nos hace saber de la llegada del invierno.

5. Mono no aware 物の哀れ

Mono no aware es un concepto básico de las artes japonesas, que suele traducirse como empatía o sensibilidad. Hace referencia a la capacidad de sorprenderse o conmoverse, de sentir cierta melancolía o tristeza ante lo efímero, ante la vida y el amor. Un ejemplo que todos conocemos es la pasión de los japoneses por el hanami, la apreciación del florecimiento de los cerezos.

6. Shinrin-yoku 森林浴

Shinrin-yoku (“baño forestal”) es interiorizarse en el bosque donde todo es silencioso y tranquilo para relajarse.

7. Yūgen 幽玄

Yūgen es un conocimiento del universo que evoca sentimientos emocionales que son inexplicablemente profundos y demasiado misterioso para las palabras.

8. Shoganai しょうがない

El significado literal de Shoganai es “que no se puede evitar”, sin embargo no hace alusión a desesperar o desalentar. Significa aceptar que algo está fuera de su control. Ánima a la gente a darse cuenta de que no era su culpa y a seguir adelante sin remordimiento.

9. Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi 金継ぎ/金繕い

Kintsukuroi es el arte de la reparación de la cerámica uniendo las piezas con oro o plata y entender que la pieza es más hermosa por haber sido rota.

10. Wabi-sabi わびさび

Wabi-sabi se refiere a una forma de vida que se centra en la búsqueda de la belleza dentro de las imperfecciones de la vida y aceptar pacíficamente el ciclo natural de crecimiento y decadencia.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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Barrio mexicano reduce la criminalidad a través del arte

Autor: EFE
Vía La Opinión | Abril 2, 2016


La organización ‘Colectivo Tomate’ cambia la cara de Xanenetla en Puebla

El barrio de Xanenetla, considerado como uno de los más “bravos” de la ciudad de Puebla (centro de México), ha sido por años epicentro de crímenes y delitos; sin embargo, el lugar ha sufrido una transformación gracias al arte. “Los taxis no se atrevían a entrar” señala un vecino sobre este barrio, que colinda con el centro de la ciudad y cuya población ronda los 10,000 habitantes. Calles empedradas y estrechas que fueron testigos históricos de asaltos, tráfico de drogas y conflictos son hoy un faro de luz que abre la puerta a la esperanza de todos los vecinos de la colonia, donde hoy se inaugura la Ciudad Mural.

Detrás de esta transformación está una organización sin fines de lucro conocida como “Colectivo Tomate”, un grupo de ciudadanos que busca inspirar a las personas a participar activamente por su comunidad. “Que se den cuenta de que cuando nos unimos podemos fortalecer y transformar el lugar en el que las personas habitamos” señaló Maribel Benítez, codirectora del colectivo.

El inicio de algo grande

Comenzó como un proyecto de arquitectura entre dos personas, pero nueve años después se ha convertido en una iniciativa de integración social en comunidades vulnerables y focos rojos de las grandes urbes.

Su trabajo no sólo queda reflejado en las paredes; también se nota en la reducción de los índices de criminalidad y en la calidad de vida de los habitantes. “El arte es nuestra herramienta principal y favorita y a través de él promovemos herramientas de paz y de participación ciudadana” dijo la codirectora.

Un artista del Estado de México describe esta experiencia como genial y señala que el hecho de trabajar en puntos conflictivos la hace más humana. “Quizá los jóvenes no tienen otra forma de ver la vida; tal vez (están involucrados en asuntos de) drogas o violencia y cuando ven a una persona haciendo un mural podemos cambiar algo en ellos”, señala el artista Fernando Pons Fernández.

El proyecto consiste en la creación colectiva de murales que narren la historia de las familias en las fachadas de sus casas, así como la identidad del barrio en espacios comunes.

Artistas internacionales y de diferentes partes del país se sumergen en la historia del barrio a través de dinámicas de sensibilización.

Descalzos y con los ojos tapados recorren el barrio para sentirlo, escucharlo y así poder transmitir luego esas sensaciones a través de sus pinturas. Una labor altruista que comienza conociendo a las familias; ellos se abren al artista y le expresan qué les gustaría representar en sus fachadas. De ahí sale un boceto que finalmente, de ser aprobado por la propia familia, quedará grabado en sus viviendas.

El artista poblano Alejandro Varela comparte su experiencia y señala que le tocó pintar la fachada de una pareja de matemáticos. Cuando entró por primera vez a su casa se topó con una estatua de un perro xoloitzcuintle, pero no le dio más importancia. “Al día siguiente me dicen, ‘no te hemos presentado a nuestra hija’, yo pregunté si tenían una y me sacaron a una xoloitzcuintle, y dije ‘ya lo tengo’”. Ahora esta pareja tiene a cada lado de la entrada principal de su casa un perro de esta raza, un macho y una hembra.

Historias como estas se repiten en cada fachada. Unos deciden poner algo alusivo a su profesión, a sus creencias religiosas, a un familiar recientemente fallecido o plasman leyendas típicas del barrio. El día de hoy se inaugura Ciudad Mural en Xanenetla; el barrio que vio nacer esta iniciativa hace siete años sigue sumando historias a través de la pintura.

En esta ocasión son 75 murales, de los cuales 44 son completamente nuevos y 26 han sido rehabilitados de etapas anteriores.

Mes y medio de trabajo conjunto entre artistas y vecinos que deja como resultado un barrio lleno de color y encanto, donde el miedo y la inseguridad se esfumó a brochazos para dar paso a un lienzo de esperanza y oportunidades para miles de personas.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

Autor: José Daniel Peraza
Vía Instagram | January 24, 2017

Artículo recomendado por Cindy Elizondo, colaboradora de Costa Rica para Replicación de Arttextum


Nuestra colaboradora Cindy Elizondo nos ha compartido esta fotografía de su natal Costa Rica. Sigue al autor en Instagram (@jdpc03) y descubre más.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.

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Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Author: Rebecca Beris
Via Life Hack


In 2011, the Finish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sort to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence

A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

“We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.


The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”

When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

As Herman Melville once wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

Silence relieves stress and tension

It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech.

“This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.

Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.


Silence replenishes our cognitive resources

The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making. The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.


Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

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