YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=r0MC3SGzJtQ
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View count:494,579
Likes:23,443
Dislikes:124
Comments:2,243
Duration:02:52
Uploaded:2014-06-24
Last sync:2019-06-12 17:50
Jace's Art Assignment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxxpTYV2FIk
A fascinating video of Quietest Places: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imfh7AIxCr4&list=PLdGqz6dgvIzYeKEkAB4ZNSG098Kz9UX8C
Subscribe to The Art Assignment: https://www.youtube.com/user/theartassignment

In which John Green discusses quiet, how difficult it is to find or live with it online (and off), and asks you to listen to the quietest place in the Indianapolis Airport for an interminable minute.
Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. As you can tell from the grey speckled walls behind me, I have found myself, in a stunning turn of events, in an airport. I've actually been stuck in the airport for a couple hours, Hank, because my flight is delayed, and also because I love airports! 

But anyway Hank, I've been thinking about The Art Assignment. One Art Assignment in particular, Jace Clayton's The Quietest Place. For those of you who don't know, The Art Assignment's a cool show produced by PBS about contemporary arts, starring my wife, and to a much lesser extent, myself.

Jace's assignment was for us to take a walk until we found the quietest place within walking distance.  Right now I can hear two separate TVs and some children.  

And quiet is an interesting thing to talk about on YouTube because attention has become so fractured on the internet that there is no longer room in YouTube videos for ANY silence. 

Like Hank, I go back and I watch our videos from 2007 with the jump cuts that are really, really slow. And this space between the jump cuts is just absolutely unbearable.  Like in those 3 silent frames, I think to myself, "I might not survive until the end of this video."

And in the many hundreds of responses to Jace Clayton's Art Assignment I saw this again, and again.  People would be walking to their quietest places, as I am now, and they would talk the entire time. 

It's only getting louder; this isn't working at all.

The other thing I noticed, Hank, is that people's quietest places are incredibly loud. Usually it was loud with nature sounds, which is fascinating, because it means on some level, and I think this is true, we don't think of nature sounds as being, like, sounds.

We think of them as kind of a loud-quiet. No, this won't work, I can still hear the TV.

Anyway, it all made me think about on the internet, and maybe even outside of it, quiet can feel kind of discomforting.  Just to get even through a few seconds of quiet requires this intensity of focus that we're not used to having to summon.

You know who knows the quietest place in an airport? TSA employees on a break.

Okay, Hank, here we are, as far as I can tell, the quietest place in the entire Indianapolis International Airport, where by gate A4, the carpet looks like this, and now Hank, together, we are going to enjoy and/or suffer through a minute of silence together, alone with our thoughts. 

I can hear so much more than I could when I sat down.  

Hank, happy VidCon, I'll see you on Friday.