Espen Sommer Eide – artist/composer
I have recently been developing some works crossing art and archive, sound and liguistics.
Language Memory started out as a project digitizing the skolt sámi dictionary for an "art in public spaces" installation built in the foajé of the Skolt sámi museum in Neiden, north-east Norway. Basically the artwork consists of a screen and a button. When the visitors press the button a video of a local Skolt sámi representative is shown (from the Finish side of the border, since the language is no longer spoken in Norway and is currently an endangered language). He or she reads one word from the dictionary back to the visitor. Approximately 6000 words have been recorded and sorted in a database combined with dictionary data. One reader per letter of the alphabet. A lot of work went into developing computer programs and tools to make this possible, both on the field-recording side and the presentation side.
Currently I am working on an internet version of this project on www.lanugagememory.org, but it will not be finished until later this year and will offer other configurations of the same archive.
There is also great interest from the linguistic community in this project because of the tools developed may be used in other settings, with other endangered languages. The material collected will also be stored as a part of the Dobes-archive (www.mpi.nl/dobes) in Holland.Back