An Adventure

Empire of Silence

Join forces with the rebels against the great silence

It's like being in a haunted house. Fascinating, but also eerie. In the Empire of Silence pavilion, you are whisked away into a fantastic world where silence becomes as heavy as lead.

You experience the oppressive feeling of suddenly no longer being allowed to speak. At least until the so-called rebels of communication - actors in the role of shrewd and courageous opponents of silence - join forces with you and help you to escape the ever more threatening silence.

Become heroes yourself

A script has been specially written and realised for this twenty-minute experience. The production can best be compared to films such as Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, but with the difference that you as a visitor become actively involved and in the end become heroes yourself.

A true story

The background of the adventure is the story of the French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. A stroke left him paralysed all over his body. With the help of a nurse, he managed to escape his life of silence: Bauby learned to communicate with his left eyelid, dictating Butterfly and Diving Bell. Shortly after the book was published in 1997, Bauby died of his illness, the so-called locked-in syndrome.

With its adventure pavilion, Swisscom wants to show how important it is to strive for interpersonal and, in particular, open communication on a daily basis and, if need be, to courageously stand up for it.

Simple and attractive architecture

The Adventure Pavilion on the Arteplage Biel-Bienne, which covers an area of around 1'000 m2, consists of two main elements: A 40.00 metre long billboard with a large interactive screen and 110 coloured eyes that react to movement and also wink at you.

Another is a black cube surrounded by a grid. Both elements play with the contrasts curved - rectangular, interactive - rigid, open - closed.

Visitor capacity per day
8'400

Total visitors
1'011'250

Partner
Swisscom AG, Berne www.swisscom.ch 

Supporter
Reichle & De-Massari AG, Wetzikon www.rdm.com 
Ericsson AG Schweiz, Brüttisellen www.ericsson.com 

Project management
Swisscom AG, Berne www.swisscom.ch 

General contractor
Nüssli Special Events AG (Ginette Pernet). Hüttwilen www.nussli.com 

Timber construction
B3 Gruppe AG, Biel-Bienne www.b-3.ch 

Content, scenography, design
Live Communication Ltd, London, Great Britain
Martin Newman (creative director)
Pip Campbell (producer)
Adam Wildi (technical director)
Steve Austen-Brown (design)
Andy Grant (lighting design)
Julian Scott (soundtrack concept and original music)
Dimension Audio (Kevin Swain) (sound design)
Creative Technology (A/V provision)
Stage One (show control)

Clothing Concept
Nile Clothing AG, Sutz www.nile.ch 

Coaching Expo.02
Pidu Russek (head)
Karin Hilzinger

Operations management
Hans-Ueli Frehner (Pavilion Manager)
Remo Jenni (Deputy Pavilion Manager)

Volunteers
Around 600 volunteers from all areas of Swisscom and from all regions of Switzerland were involved in running the Adventure Pavilion. They each worked in the pavilion for eight days.

Fotos: Press kit Empire of Silence