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In which Jace Clayton, aka DJ /Rupture, challenges you to take a walk from where you live and find the quietest place. Once you're there, take it in for a moment and then make a short video or take some photos there.


1. Go outside and walk in the direction that is the quietest

2. Continue until you're in the quietest place possible

3. Take a moment to absorb it. Then document it through photography or video.

4. Upload it using #theartassignment

4. Fame and glory (your work might be in a future episode)

Learn more about Jace's work here:

And hear him talk about his work here:

Artworks mentioned include John Cage's 4'33" (1952/53) and Charles Baudelaire's essay The Painter of Modern Life (1863).

Thanks to all of our participants!:

- Hank Green: @hankgreen,

- Hannah Hart: @harto,

- Brian DeGraw:

- Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi:

- The Gregory Brothers @gregorybrothers,

Jace was in town as an artist in residence with the organization
We Are City:

This episode was filmed in Indianapolis at Indy Reads Books:

Sarah: Today we're outside of Indy Reads bookstore in Indianapolis to meet with Jace Clayton, who's in town as an artist in residence with the organization "We Are City." Jace is well known for his work as DJ /rupture, but he now works across disciplines to make music, create installations and events, and even design software. He's performed all over the world and with many impressive people, focusing on how sound, memory, and technology collide in public spaces. He's based in New York, but right now he's here. So let's go see him.

Jace: Hello, I'm Jace Clayton and this is my Art Assignment.


Jace: Actually in my very first mix tape called "Gold Teeth Thief", put out in 2001, there's this one section where the beat stops and the rapper's saying something, and then he says stop, and I hold the record for a few seconds, so the pause becomes uncomfortable, and then the beat returns. And so that was sort of riffing off my name, DJ /rupture, and I was kind of interested in thinking of if people are dancing, there are moments when people can stop dancing. And especially in a DJ context, where it's always, like, the beat must go on, the beat must go on. Like, there's something very... In a way it's like the one thing you can't do in a club is have silence, so then it becomes this very radical gesture that slowly throws people off. And there are all sorts of ways to use that. Especially today, especially online, when so many things happen so quickly, and when people are often always on, there's a sense that there is no dead time, like you should always be doing something, and I think that quiet lets you take a step back from that, and kind of put yourself in a different time frame, which is very important to think about what's happening in the present. Like I was living in Barcelona for a while, and I would just love walking, I would walk everywhere. But I would love walking along the quietest routes I could at night. Somehow it just made everything seem more special, it's almost like looking through, suddenly like you're wearing special glasses, and you can see these little details, which you wouldn't otherwise.

Jace: So, the assignment is to walk outside of your home, and walk outside of wherever you live, and continue walking until you find the quietest place, in your neighborhood, in your zone, the quietest place outside, in public space. And then once you get there, absorb it a little bit, and then maybe share a photo or share a brief video with where you are and what it looks like.

John: So this assignment reminds me of when the electricity goes out in your house and you suddenly realize that there is this constant hum to modern life that's gone away.

Sarah: Yeah, I love that moment.

John: Yeah.

Sarah: With this piece I'm really tempted to talk about silence in art, particularly John Cage's 4'33'', don't you think?

John: Yeah, that was this piece where John Cage had a performer, performers go on stage, make no sound for four minutes and thirty-three seconds, right?

Sarah: That's the one. It's talked about all the time in art, and it's really great, but I don't think it's the best point of comparison for this assignment.

John: So, what are you going to go with?

Sarah: I think that we're going to go a little farther back in time and think about French poet Charles Baudelaire's idea of the "Flâneur."

John: Oh, I know the "Flâneur" because when you talk about poetry, I actually know what you're talking about.

Sarah: When Paris was a newly industrialized and rebuilt city, Baudelaire imagined two types of people; the "Flâneur" was a kind of gentleman dandy type figure, who strolled about the busy streets with relative aimlessness, taking in the spectacle of the moment, at once a part of the city and aloofed them. This idle spectator was an opposition to Baudelaire's idea of the thoroughly modern man, whom he described as such: "Away he goes, hurrying, ceaselessly journeying across the great human desert. He has an aim loftier than that of a mere Flâneur, an aim more general, something other than the fugitive pleasure of circumstance. He is looking for that quality, which he must allow me to call modernity."

Baudelaire defined modernity as the ephemeral, the fleeting, the contingent, and being modern required one to adopt a certain attitude, finding something eternal or meaningful within the present moment. Jace's assignment asks you to be a kind of anti-Flâneur, navigating your environment with the express goal of moving away from the stimuli of the city. It is perhaps in this denial of spectator-ship that we can begin to search for the meaning of modernity in our own time. 

Jace: Usually when people move around, and especially go for walks they're walking towards beautiful things, like fantastic photo vistas or whatever. I'm actually really interested in seeing sort of the boring side of quiet places, the way in which quiet places can be very, very mundane. There's something--- There's something-- very reassuring in all that, you know? Maybe it's just an empty field, you know? Maybe it's the lot of warehouses at night. Places like that, it's sort of different, and non-spectacular view of things.

Doing this assignment at home, I think you instantly have an idea of where in your neighborhood is gonna be the quietest. Maybe it's a walk out in the woods or something, and so, in a way, it's going to be... hopefully, it'll still put you on a path you wouldn't otherwise go on, but there's less surprises. But if you're some place you don't know, then it really is, you're walking and literally being guided by your ears.

In my initial conception, it's alone, but it's not meant to be some sort of like, monkish separation thing. It's more, it's more about a walk, a walk guided by listening, and so in that case, as long as your companion, you know, doesn't talk too loud, then it'll be perfect.

Sarah: So now we're gonna go try to find our quietest place. We're in a really loud area next to a highway, but now we're gonna take a walk guided by listening. This is Mark, our director, he's gonna help me out.

(Heels clicking)

Sarah: Ok so this was the quietest place I could find, uh, now I'm challenging Mark to find somewhere quieter.

(Shoes stepping)

Mark (mouthing): This is my quiet place. Look up.

Sarah: So that was Mark and my quietest place, and now we want you to find yours.

John: Now before we go, Jace asked one of his friends to find his quieteset place, we asked some of our friends as well and so we wanted to share those with you. Thanks again for watching The Art Assignment.

Sarah: And don't break the law.

John: Don't break the law.

Hank: I'm on vacation in Sedona. Don't know where I am anymore but there's that. Well it was was quiet. Now there's a helicopter.

Hannah: So this week's art assignment was to walk to a quiet place and in true Los Angeles fashion, I am driving because that's how hard it is to find a quiet place.

Ransom Riggs: Like in many parts of L.A., there are little nooks and crannies of quiet and peace and we’re going to take you to one of our favorite ones right now. It looks like we’re in someone’s private space but we’re actually not. It’s this whole little extension of Abbot Kinney, this like, amazing chocolate and like a hat.

Tahereh Mafi: Yeah, this is.

Sarah Gregory: It’s not very quiet.

Michael Gregory: Yeah, it’s really loud on the street, too many buses.

Sarah Gregory: Surprisingly I think a party store is the quietest place that we can find within walking distance.


Jace: So the very first idea for an art assignment which was half tongue in cheek and half not was walk around your city um, until you’re mugged. Yeah. So don’t do that without signing this waiver form.