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Topic: Contribute your voice to an interactive art installation! (Read 3707 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi all!
I am creating an interactive art installation that a part of it composed of different texts in different languages read by as much different voices as i can find. For that purpose I would like to ask you to contribute your voice by recording yourself reading one of the texts I've uploaded and sending it back to me.
all the texts can be found here:
Thank you very much for your help!



All the english texts are obviously bad translations of something... they do not make sense.  Have you got someone who can translate whatever is meant a bit better?  With so much of the text about apocolyptic predictions, the whole thing seems a bit odd.


Jun 06, 2012, 09:24 am Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 09:26 am by AvramKadavram Reason: 1
First of all, thank you very much for taking the time and reading the texts.
Second, I'm sorry that i didn't explain my art project earlier but the texts aren't just bad translations but an experiment in language and the way that it is constructed.
All those texts went through a series of different translations and processing and came out to be slightly coherent  but bent in a way, that is that the listener can make sense somehow and even imagine the speaker, and yet understand that there are things inherent in the texts that forever will be misunderstood or just unexplainable.
All this will be implanted in a work name "Digital Palm" that reacts to the things happening in the exhibition space. it will be up in about two weeks in Tel-Aviv, so most of the audience will be native Hebrew speakers, which means, among other things, people who regularly use a made up 20th century language that uses and misuses other languages in it and consume translated culture, if it in English, French, German or any other culturally dominating language.
So, I will stop my long explanation here and again invite you to take part in the Digital Palm Project:
Thank you once again,


Jun 06, 2012, 11:23 am Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 11:53 am by focalist Reason: 1
How to put this..

I am not sure how many people are going to feel comfortable reading these.  I see "culturally dominating languages" in your reply, one entire section of text refers to how pleasure or fun is Arabic in its roots but has been misused in western languages, referred to in a negative way.. another about cellphones, GPS, and wire... Others about soldiers, investigations, etc.

Dude, you are addressing how things might not be understood.. And this could be misunderstood in a couple of REALLY bad ways.  Especially in the context of viewing the languages as "made up 20th century languages", a rather perjorative phrase, in comparison with Arabic.. And go on about how the languages consume culture.. Then remark and ask for cryptic sentences be spoken by people who do not understand what is being said, with the content referencing Virgins, the corruption of western languages, and assembling things.


To say it makes me a little uneasy is an understatement to say the least.  And this art project is for Tel Aviv?   I wish I could say we live in a world where this type of thing wouldn't set off "red flags", but you do understand that given the world climate, this is GOING to worry some people, right?

I hate sounding that way, or implying anything untoward is going on.. but considering the number of buzzwords, I just don't feel comfortable talking about GPS, wires, cellphones, troops, virgins, and what seems to be a negative spin on western languages... Especially when the phrases are nonsense in nature.  It's easy to edit words together, and THESE words scare people in a world which is experiencing violence revolving around these kinds of words.

I can tell you that I don't agree with the message, and won't be speaking for it.  I don't believe that cultures are lost because of made up languages (as you refer to the romance languages.. All latin based).. in fact, it is the very richness of the languages which has moved world society forward from languages whose limited vocabularly thereby limit expression of meaning.  As a linguist, you of all people would agree.  What type of linguist is making a sculpture piece which derides diversity of language?


Thanks again for your reply. I can see and understand your thoughts regarding my work though I must disagree completely to the direction on which you imply this work supposedly leading the readers or the audience to.  Again, I would never ask someone to do somethings against his or her believes so please don't take this answer as an attempt to convince you, rather as a way to explain my motive.
In the texts posed, there isn't any concealed meaning in the sense that whoever reads it understands exactly what can be understood,  the topic of Arabic for example doesn't hide any political views. The result should be like a mix of sounds and topics that has references to subjects that their  origins in cultural terms can be understood, but not exactly be interpreted, again, not because it is a secret but because that is the assent of language and communication.Virgins was another of your example and I'm surprised because it appears once in the text and as part of translated poem.
I really see a greater danger in finding every word or idea as a threat, especially as someone who do live in a problematic area and see what this kind of thought control can make. For that reason I addressed a community of creative people that can understand a more complex view of things.

Thanks again and sorry if any way i have hurt your feelings,


I just don't see many people being comfortable with the phrases, especially as they are in such a negative overall message.

One might do a work instead on how the modern world, unlike the centuries of darkness and death that preceded it, has achieved a lot of good for all of mankind, by the very nature of blending cultures and languages... A far more palatable message for most.


Its really interesting to me that you understood the text in such a way. Due to its complex or weird syntax I think it is a text that can be interpreted to a very different way, much more humanistic, about the confusion of man standing inside language itself, in a certain context of course.
I think that just praising technology for what it is  will be a little doll don't you think?


Jun 06, 2012, 05:33 pm Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 07:43 pm by focalist Reason: 1
In my mind that is far better than a message trumpeting Arabic as 'Good' and maligning other languages and cultures.  As long as the message is 'latin based languages corrupt arabic cultures', I doubt you find much support... nor in my opinion, should you.

When you refer to western cultures and languages as 'made up', and 'culture destroying', it's clear that intolerance is the message.  I don't and won't support anything whose purpose is maligning others based upon language and culture.  Between your comments here and the texts themselves, it's a perfect example of the disease, not the cure.  I cannot support what is meant to be racially inflammatory just for shock value... Especially as the point itself (Latin and derivatives are less than Arabic, in word and culture) is placing this thing in public, in Tel Aviv of all places.. Just how many folks want to get a phone call as to why they are supporting such a thing?  Not only is your 'point' false, you are attempting to guide others into unwittingly supporting a message of intolerance.  There are school kids here, people who might just do it without considering what the goal obviously is.  The dishonesty is astounding.

As a linguist and artist, I hope you understand.. and I do not encourage others to participate in such an endeavor.  

All this will be implanted in a work name "Digital Palm" that reacts to the things happening in the exhibition space. it will be up in about two weeks in Tel-Aviv, so most of the audience will be native Hebrew speakers, which means, among other things, people who regularly use a made up 20th century language that uses and misuses other languages in it and consume translated culture, if it in English, French, German or any other culturally dominating language.

There is no other way to interpret your words, or your goals.  Your message is one of intolerance and hate.  Nobody should support this kind of "work".  If this isn't what you intend, then you have about two weeks to come up with another idea.. because this is nothing more than dishonesty on your part.. particularly evidenced by the fact you "forgot" to tell people what your intentions were.  It is clear that you have a racial agenda, and one that refers to other races and cultures as inferior.  This is not the place for that.  Though I know this won't prevent you from getting participants elsewhere and completing this.. thing, I sincerely ask you to reconsider the entire project.  You seem reasonable in some respects.  The message you are sending is not a good one, or even true.  That isn't art.  It's propaganda and an attempt to make negative remarks about innocent people and cultures due to their race.

Funny how you refer to Latin based languages as "misusing", when it is quite clear that is your goal with the texts and the project.  You remark about living in a problematic area of the world.. then demonstrate that you espouse the attitudes which ARE the problem.  As an artist, can you at least see the irony I find in that?  You ask me not "read into" or "try to understand" why you want members of these cultures you refer to as "made up" to give you unfettered access to THEIR VOICE making remarks that are easily viewed as racial insults.. it is obvious that "misuse" is precisely your plan.


I'm quite shocked of your response and though I don't have enough time right now to answer I will try to say something so that you and other readers of the thread wont get the wrong impression of me, my meanings and my work.
My work consist of nothing of the thing you imply it does, on the contrary. I think you are hung up on the text about Arabic, though it has nothing of hate in it. I myself don't know Arabic and Hebrew is my mother tongue so when I am saying that it is a made up language, you should take it as reflecting on my own language, with no hate or criticism for any other culture. From this point of view I am trying to bring a text that has confusion in it, a mixture of voices, none of them one can really relate to because the disattachment the weird syntax opposes. In those different voices what you cannot hear is hate or racism, but I guess some words can make people angry and for that I am sorry.
If something I think that it is like what our whole conversation is about- the way communication fails.   


Jun 06, 2012, 08:25 pm Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 10:55 pm by focalist Reason: 1
It is your words such as "made up" and "culturally dominating" which make your desires for dishonest use of the content clear.  Understand it is YOU who are the problem, clearly.  You really could use to be a little less hateful and afraid of people who are not like you.

Here's a little lesson for you:  Latin predates, has wider scope, and is the base language of all modern languages.  It's words, conjugation of verbs, and syntax are the basis for the flexibility which has made variations upon it's theme the common language of business, science, education and world politics. However, as anyone from Europe can tell you, the Moors attempted genocide multiple times, attempting to force their (inflexible) culture and language on Europe as a whole.  Multiple invasions, over hundreds of years, attempting to force civilized nations to accept the language and morals of North Africa.  This is no more right than the christian crusades, essentially the same behaviour from europe, which was as appalling. I think you could benefit from a remedial Linguistics class as well as a few history classes.  Sowing distrust and racial strife isn't going to improve matters at all, and putting a blatantly racist item like this right in the middle of the very people it tells untruths about-- what exactly did you think would happen when people found out what you were going to be "making them say"?

Maybe you ought to LEARN a few of the languages, meet a few people of other cultures, instead of calling them inferior.  It is people and statements like yours that CAUSE conflict.  You want to place a blatantly anti-semitic and anti-west "work" in Tel Aviv, and are asking innocent people to help you do it, and deceiving them into it by not revealing your motives or racially motivated statements.  You are placing statements in their mouths that they, I guarantee, do not support.  There is no "misunderstanding", you want to deceive people and make derogatory statements about people based upon race and culture.  Yours is not an endeavor decent people support.  You are derogatory of peoples and languages other than your own, and want to trick others into looking like they share your bad intentions.  You could instead encourage understanding between people.. but that's not what the texts, or your communications above say.

Any sane person would "interpret" what you are saying and doing the same way, there is not another rational evaluation of the words.

Go peddle your hate, fear, and dishonesty someplace else.  It is not welcome here.  Though I am not "official", I think I speak for quite a few when I say such a project has no place here, in fact, it has no place in decent human society.

If your answer to "communication failure" is racist remarks about cultures you aren't even acquainted with by your own admission, and derogatory and clearly false statements about languages, clearly motivated by race, designed to incite anger and mistrust, nobody needs to hear your "voice"... and certainly should be wary of providing you with the means to make them appear to be as racially motivated and conflict-mongering as you and your "art".  In no way do I find what you are doing "constructive", only an attempt to cause conflict between people.  That is something NO culture or person should support.


Think this discussion is really out of arduino scope ...

Please read the book "Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations" By Geert Hofstede
- http://geert-hofstede.com/book-shop.html -

It explains why you are discussing.

Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)


I agree that this whole discussion is not really for the arduino forum, and I welcome focalist to write me an email or whatever so that I can explain myself better. If focalist or any other person find my post offending I will take it down.
Just one last thing- I think what happened here is quite crazy. Being an Israeli Jew, you can still of course accuse me to be a racist, which I am most certainly not, but to say I am anti-western culture or even anti-Semitic will be pure ignorance or an acute case of lack of understanding. But again, I didn't believe I would come to this point and I don't want to annoy anybody.

Coding Badly

I agree that this whole discussion is not really for the arduino forum,


and I welcome focalist to write me an email or whatever so that I can explain myself better

Excellent choice.  If the conversation continues make it in private or elsewhere.

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