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|PhonArt – lost languages of Europe is a European radio art and
sound art project in several chapters. Artists from Austria, Czech
Republic, Serbia and Croatia have formed a network to explore and
revive some almost lost European languages. The PhonArt series
continues after the first Station at the Ring Ring Festival of Contemporary Music in Belgrade and the second Phonart Intervention in Kunstradio by Zahra Mani.
Czech visual artist Martin Janíček and Belgian media artist Guy van Belle also known as Givan Bela intensified their collaboration, and developed the Czech part of the Phonart project for the international artists' organization mamapapa, which is working mainly in or from Prague.
Other project partners are Enterprise Z in Vienna, the Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, and in Hrelji Doo Mani, Croatia.
The mamapapa artists decided to investigated especially the endangered Sorbian languages spoken in Lausitz (such as "swampy, wet meadows"; Lower Sorbian Łužyca, Sorbian Lužica, Polish Łużyce, Czech Lužice, in 1005 still Luzici from the Slavic luzicy for low marsh), which are part of the West Slavic languages. The region Lausitz is located in Germany and Poland, on the northern border of the Czech Republic, the German cultural centers of the Sorbian language are Bautzen and Cottbus. In Prague, the Sorbian languages are still taught, but they disappear slowly because of globalization and its impacts.
The Radio Art piece "Distant dialogues" / "Parallel and Distributed conversations" by Martin and Guy van Belle Janíček is based on different approaches to texts and the Sorbian languages. Everyday spoken language, but also some recited poems that were recorded by Janíček with native speakers in Bautzen and Prague play an important role. Guy van Belle has developed a computer program based on the structure of the Sorbian languages as a kind of translation into sound, derived from the various parameters of the language. He built a system to "re"-read and for re-interpretation in order to control various sound sources. The artists have used recordings of the wind-mobile objects of Jiri Novak and breath sounds of the Sorbian language as it was formerly spoken in northern Bohemia as sources.
".... The use of language came as natural as any other source. It is hidden for the first look / listening, but it is very basic - it is the essence of the whole system structure of the piece, which is using a variety of sound recordings, including the speech itself.“
Martin Janíček 2011
The artists like to thank:
Roža Domašcyna for reciting her poems.
Ziesch Bernhard, Managing Director of Domowina in Bautzen, Germany for their support during the recordings.
Phonart at Kunstradio:
Contribution from Belgrade:
Contribution from Croatia:
Live on air contribution from Vienna
Live Phonart radio network between all participants: