The Quiet Volume

Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells
United Kingdom


Run time: 60 minutes

The Quiet Volume Production

In The Quiet Volume, – set at the iconic San Diego Central Library – recorded instructions and a stack of carefully selected books direct you through this contemplative, self-generated performance for two audience members sitting side by side. Taking cues from words both written and whispered, participants find themselves burrowing an unlikely path through a pile of books.

The Quiet Volume takes of what we think of as a deeply personal experience to lean out into the surrounding space, collide one reader's sphere into another's, and exposes the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience.

Binaural recordings: TiTo Toblerone
Artistic production: Katja Timmerberg
Spanish version: Luz Algranti and Paula Porroni

Commissioned and produced by Ciudades Paralelas, a festival of portable theatre curated by Stefan Kaegi and Lola Arias, developed in co-production between HAU Berlin and Schauspielhaus Zürich, in collaboration with Goethe-Institute Warschau, Teatr Nowy and the foundation of Teatr Nowy, commissioned by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Swiss Cultural foundation Pro Helvetia and Goethe Institute Buenos Aires.

In coproduction with Vooruit Arts Centre, Belgium.

Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells

“...the feeling of heightened awareness in which every sound is magnified, every movement has increased significance and all words dance with possibility (...) there is a sense that we are all privately running amok in the libraries of our minds.” –The Guardian

Ant Hampton is a British artist and performance maker whose work, which began in 1998 under the name Rotozaza, has most often involved guiding people through unrehearsed performance situations. From 2007 this started to include the audience: his Autoteatro series tours widely and includes Etiquette, The Quiet Volume, Cue China, and The Extra People.

Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment.

Patron Notes

Use of headphones. Two patrons per performance. Wheelchair accessible. Recommended for ages 16+. Cash is not accepted for ticket payment onsite.

Please contact Patron Services if you require any special assistance.

WOW After-Hours

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All tickets


  • THU: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm,
    every 15 mins
  • FRI: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm,
    every 15 mins
  • SAT: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm,
    every 15 mins
  • SUN: 1:00 pm – 5:45 pm,
    every 15 mins


San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
On the 8th Floor


Free validated parking and street parking.

Click here to view a PDF chart of travel times between shows.