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Joy Gregory

20 Oct 2009

La Gomera - a long term research project concerned with issues of language endangerment

La Gomera is part of a long term research project looking at the relationship between language and the environment with particular emphasis on issues around language endangerment. This piece focuses on a language form whose development and use is closely bound up in the landscape and topography of the space.

‘La Gomera’ is a video which looks at how communication occurs between the different parts of the island in the Canaries. Discovering that whistles carried much further than the spoken word, the original islanders developed their own means of hilltop communication. Gregory has filmed and edited a short video looking at this whistled tongue known as El Silbo which can be heard up to a distance of 8 kilometres.

In this event the artist will discuss some of the processes which led to the development of the work, as well as some of the material gathered during the research but not appearing in the film. Joy Gregory will be in conversation with anthropologist and curator Nancy Hynes.