Body language, ancient dialects, recovered languages, gestures, symbols, music, fetal heartbeats, drone coordinates, tidal scores, birdsong, VLF electromagnetic frequencies, petroglyphs and radio waves. Ways to connect or be misunderstood fan out in infinite directions.
Selected currents and waves programs connected to notions of language:
We Call You to Witness, Foreshore Listens Audio Zine, Vanessa Campbell, 48min
For this audio zine Vanessa Campbell used the witnessing part of Musqueam ceremony to call each listener to open their mind and heart to the responsibility of remembering, recalling and recounting the words and stories they hear collected. Selections have been made from the important projects and reflections presented during the Foreshore Sessions thinking about the significance of indigenous languages and oral history. For millennia, the histories and cultural embodiment and expression of our people have been communicated strictly through an oral tradition. The Musqueam speakers in this recording are all new language learners, and newly connecting with the rich repository of tradition and heritage carried by the language itself.
The Enchanting Music of sign language, Christine Sun Kim, 15min
This talk was originally given as a Ted Talk in August of 2015. Artist and TED Fellow Christine Sun Kim was born deaf, and she was taught to believe that sound wasn't a part of her life, that it was a hearing person's thing. Through her art, she discovered similarities between American Sign Language and music, and she realized that sound doesn't have to be known solely through the ears -- it can be felt, seen and experienced as an idea. In this endearing talk, she invites us to open our eyes and ears and participate in the rich treasure of visual language. Sun Kim uses the medium of sound through technology and conceptualism in art, as it enables her to have the most direct connection to society at large. She rationalizes and reframes her relationship with sound and spoken languages by using audience’s voice as her own, conducting a group of people to sing with facial movements (rather than sound), composing visual scores with sign language and musical symbols. For more information about this talk visit:
Foreshore Audio Response, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, 1min
In his words, Bracken Hanuse Corlett states the following about his Foreshore Audio response, "My piece as you probably noticed was a bit of a meandering stream. Things that were on my mind. The feeling of being submerged. Finding comfort in what might be interpreted as drowning. There is some interplay between hopelessness and looking forward. The Upcoming Colten Boushie decision was and is heavy in my mind. I was thinking about practice with trauma at or near its core. How much of that trauma to show or keep. Thinking back to my talk and how exposed I felt. Thinking about keeping my work in continuum with those who fought to keep our art and ceremony alive before and after the potlatch ban. Knowing that I work in a form that can be driven by commodification and finding my place of survival outside of that. The feeling of wanting to recoil, retreat, and pullbacks."
Talking Trees: Language of Trees, 1h25min
The Talking Trees Series took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Australia in the spring of 2019. Inspired by 'Janet Laurence: After Nature' exhibition at the MCA, this talk series brings together artists, researchers, scientists and advocates to exchange and discover new ideas around one of the most fundamental elements of the natural world: trees. Talking Trees explores what trees can teach us about time, language democracy, fragility, social action, and artistic expression. The program has been organized in collaboration with Dr. Dalia Nassar (University of Sydney), Prof Margaret Barbour (University of Sydney), Sydney Policy Lab, the MCA, and Janet Laurence. The Language of Trees” seeks to explore these questions: Can trees “talk”? What is the nature and importance of this communication, and what is the upshot of anthropomorphizing trees? Moderator Rachel Kent will help speakers unpack the role this type of communication plays in the growth of trees, and how this language alters our relationship with, and understanding of, the natural environment. Speakers in this episode include Nick Enfield, Leah Barclay, Monica Gagliano, and Jakelin Troy. This discussion was moderated by Rachel Kent, Chief Curator at the MCA.
The Voice of the Natural World, Bernie Krause, 15min
This presentation by Krause was originally a TED Global talk in 2013, Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe. A surprising look at what we can learn through nature’s symphonies, from the grunting of a sea anemone to the sad calls of a beaver in mourning. Krause continues to make history by capturing the fading voices of nature: studying the sonic interplay between species as they attract mates, hunt prey, and sound out their roles in the ecosystem. For more information this talk visit www.ted.com.