Ilse Ermen

Born 1959 in German Federal Republic. Studied Fine Arts at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1979 – 1984), later linguistics in Paris und Berlin (1985 – 1991); PHD in Basel/Schweiz, 1996). She works with „language as image“ (words, sentences, texts become images), lately more and more with sound, performs lectures of her art work. Has been living in Paris, Berlin, Basel and Brussels, she actually travels around Europe. She has exhibited mostly in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. 2014: current: „Anhängsel“ Konnektor, Hannover; participation „Anonyme Zeichner/Anonymous Drawings“, Berlin; 2013 participation „Jahresgaben“, Lage egal, Berlin; lecture „Ilse Ermens Wörterbuch der Zoologie, „Rooftop Readings, Basel, and at Team Titanic, Berlin; 2012 „Totalvertextung“, Abteilung für alles Andere, Berlin; „Zweite Generation“, Konnektor, Hannover; 2011: “Salons de lecture”, La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse (F); „In- and Outside Writing“, voorkamer / Lier (B); Croxproject # 376, Croxhapox Gent (B); “Expanded Painting”, Künstlerhaus Wien (A).

My personal approach as well as an artist as linguist is the linguistic situation: about 700 different languages, as you also mention in your call, but Papua is known for that. My idea is to record „Berlin Voices“ – f. ex., when I left my that time studio window open, people were passing by, talking with their mobile phones in all kinds of languages, as Turkish, Spanish, Kurdish, Albanian, English, German, Arabic, make a sound mix of what is talked all day long in the city, without being understood. There could be sounds like cell phone, voice, radio, music, prayers in mosks, etc. Which could lead to a workshop of Papua Voices, or a mutual story telling (as we Europeans don’t sing anymore) or whatever is concerned with languages, (there are considerable language archives in Berlin; e.g., during World War I, there where some linguists who invited war prisoners to a studio to record their languages! Would be interesting to know what they have else). Otherwise, st. like a comparison of sound producing systems– voice vs. mobile phone, analogous vs. digital sound production, e.g.