silent city | rob sweere

"In another culture I would perhaps have been a monk or shaman, and that may of course still happen". Rob Sweere (National Academy of Art Amsterdam, 1993) creates works of art that focus on the spectators experience. He has conducted projects in 29 countries, often supported by the Mondriaanfonds. Amongst others, Robs work has been collected by the Kröller-Müller Museum and also by 17 Dutch cities, to be put on display in the public space.

silent city | art project

Silent City offers a world without gravity, where the laws of physics lead a life of their own. Spectators meet each other, but have yet to discover how to communicate.

silent city | the portal

The Silent City Portal is the physical embodiment of Silent City, measuring 10 by 20 metres. First stop for spectators is the open air reception area. From here the surroundings are no longer visible, encouraging one to focus on the upcoming experience. Next, the spectators are escorted into the 8 metres high dome at the rear of the portal, to access Silent City in virtual reality.

silent city | virtual reality

Transformed into white spheres, spectators enter a white world without gravity. They encounter 9 rounded shapes: the pavillions. The Vortex pavillion offers an unexpected journey.

silent city | context

Silent City is the next step in the body of work of Rob Sweere. It is also an experiment: it investigates how virtual reality can function as a medium for art, and how we humans can relate to each other within a virtual world.

silent city | on tour

Silent City is meant for museums of modern art, for large music, art and film festivals and for manifestations on architecture, anywhere in the world. It offers a refuge of peace and quiet amidst the turmoil of modern life, for example as part of a city festival. It can also function as a completely autonomous entity. An indoor version of the Silent City Portal has been planned to allow for showings in smaller venues.

silent city | team

Rob Sweere, visual artist

Grendel Games, serious vr design

Jos Janssen, sound visionary

Alexander Blom, money guru

Ruud Willems, graphic samurai

Jurr van Diggele, logistical wizard

Ellen Boersma, art ambassador

Sam Sweere, IT juggler

Bert Broekman, inflatable engineer

silent city | know more?

Arnhem, Netherlands

Phone: +31(0) 85 2500565

Email: team at

more on rob sweere

The Silent Sky Project - The participants lie on their backs looking at the sky in silence. Sometimes they are positioned in a circle, sometimes in a square, and sometimes in another work of art. Often they have something in common, like being part of the same organisation.

more on rob sweere

Silent City - at Art Rotterdam, 2014.
In the middle of a busy metropolis, three inflateables create a soft white island of silence and peacefulness.

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Moving - Performance with 688 civil servants working for the Dutch province of Gelderland. In silence, the participants enter a circular disk and stand still. When the disk is full, they are invited to walk clockwise, thus making a circular movement together. After ten minutes, at the signal, everyone stands still again again for a few minutes.

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Sledge-project - Uummanatsiaq, Greenland. Two cabins on sledges that can be towed by dogs or a snowmobile over the ice. The cabins are insulated and can be used for sitting, cooking and sleeping. Each cabin can accomodate up to 6 people.

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Walking trees - a small group of participants embarks on a 90 minute walk through nature in silence. The walk is interrupted several times for short performances to have an experience of silence. There is no conversation during the entire expedition. The project concludes with the group sharing their experiences.

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The hub - Until recently on display in the sculpture garden of the Kroeller-Mueller Museum, now to be part of the Kroeller-Mueller exhibition at Floriade 2017. Suspended from 6 steel cables one looks at the sky through a natural opening between the trees.

more on rob sweere

Silence Out Loud - a visitor mounts a flight of stairs in the middle of an exhibition to put his head in the work of art and thus experience his self sought silence.