Responding to Cildo Meireles’s sonic vision of the Tower of Babel, we invite participants to listen to the most widely spoken languages across the globe, and reconsider the world map by language and listening, rather than country. This series of audio works form sonic postcards — snapshots of each language.
Collecting speech and song from online radio stations, news channels and live web cams, we’ve sought to capture each language in a two-minute mix. The audio was gathered at midday in the respective locations to ensure a chance selection process, free from bias. Where needed, environmental sounds were also sourced from online databases.
This workshop is a platform for listening, discussing and re-thinking communication. Please contribute by writing/drawing a response on a postcard and attaching it to the language map, answering the question:
What did you hear? Tell us about your experience of listening – what do you recognise? What do you assume? Can you hear patterns or distinct qualities in some of the works? Do you understand words, sentences or meaning; and if not, what do you hear? Can you hear opinions, emotions, memories, histories?
In making this work, we aim to celebrate language through a sound-led forum and investigate constructs of communication, understanding and ultimately borders.