Co-Commission: Silbadores


ECAS Co-Commission

Heimo Lattner

Lattner’s work, commissioned by the ECAS network within the Working Period II , explores the whistling language of the Guanche, the native inhabitants of the Canary Islands. While the Silbo Gomero language presumably developed as a means to communicate across the volcanic islands’ deep-cut gorges, the advance of modern telecommunications and infrastructure have rendered its original purpose redundant. The levels of meaning of this musical language, and the shifts these have undergone over the last six decades, serve as the point of departure for Lattner’s research.

By exploring the phenomenon of voice, Heimo Lattner raises questions of identity and society. To him, the voice is no longer part of the body, nor yet part of language. It is no longer part of the subject, nor yet part of the other, no longer part of biological life, nor yet part of social existence. It is the point of intersection of both, in a place that is in fact impossible and placeless, a place to which we are led by El Silbo, the endangered whistled language of the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands.

Also supported by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Art and Culture, Berlin Cultural Affairs Senate Chancellery, European Union programme Culture, EUNIC, Goethe-Institut.

musikprotokoll '1205.10.2012
Date 05.10.2012
Action The Silbadores: Part 1: Introduction - Work in progress / live radiofeature, Ö1-Kunstradio/ Musikprotokoll 2012, Graz (AU)
Location Camp: Wohnzimmer
Participants Heimo Lattner, Judith Laub
Sponsoring Partners Tone / Unsound, DISK / CTM-Festival, ORF / musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst, Skaņu mežs
Print musikprotokoll '12 print programme
Online References (german)
CTM '1303.02.2012
Date 03.02.2013
Action "The Silbadores" Part 2: "What Luck For Whom?", lecture performance
Participants Heimo Lattner, Judith Laub, Dramaturgy: Karolin Nedelmann
Sponsoring Partners Tone / DISK / ORF / musikprotokoll / Skaņu mežs
Online References
What Luck For Whom? - Chapter One
What Luck For Whom? - Chapter Two
What Luck For Whom? - Chapter Three
What Luck For Whom? - Chapter Four
musikprotokoll '1303.10.2013
Date 03.10.2013
Action The Silbadores: Part 3: "In The End It Is All About Me", performance for voice, whistle and echo (world premiere)
Participants Concept, text, dramaturgy: Heimo Lattner, Judith Laub, Karolin Nedelmann; Whistle: Kico Correa; Voice: Angelika Sautter; Composition, live elektronic: Werner Dafeldecker
Sponsoring Partners Tone / DISK / ORF / musikprotokoll / Skaņu mežs
Print musikprotokoll '13 print programme
Online References
Description Against the background of an examination of the mythological, phenomenological, aesthetic and political connotations of the voice, the artist Heimo Lattner journeyed with cultural and political scientist Judith Laub to the island of La Gomera in order to study the whistled language Silbo Gomero. Gomeran whistlers use the inherent traits of what they need to overcome to communicate messages in barely passable areas: echo carries their whistles over long distances. Metaphorically, the echo – the “voice” of space and time – inserts itself as a corrective between the two figures of whistle and voice. Their interplay formed the basis of the composition developed in collaboration with Werner Dafeldecker.
Date 17.10.2013
Action The Silbadores musikprotokoll 2013 broadcast in Radio Österreich 1; show: Zeit-Ton
Sponsoring Partners
Online References
Skanu Mesz '14 (Izstade)01.07. - 24.07.2014
Date 01.07. - 24.07.2014
Action Performance/exhibition: "The Silbadores": Part 4: „IestrēdzisЗастрял” (Stuck), sound installation, Sound Art Exhibition SKAN II in the framework of Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014, 1.7. – 20.7.2014, Riga (LV)
Participants Concept, text: Heimo Lattner, Judith Laub; Translation: Semjon Hanin, Pēteris Draguns;Whistle: Kico Correa
Sponsoring Partners Tone / DISK / ORF / musikprotokoll / Skaņu mežs
Online References
ICAS Festival '1502.05.2015
Date 02.05.2015
Action El Silbo performance lecture
Participants Heimo Lattner & Judith Laub
Sponsoring Partners Tone / DISK / ORF / musikprotokoll / Skaņu mežs
Print ICAS Festival print schedule
Online References

Heimo Lattner *1968 (AT), studied art and art theory at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York. He lives in Berlin. His films, audio plays, installations and texts are reflections of a multifaceted investigation into location and social identity. Exhibitions include: Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; ICA London; MoMA PS1, New York; 8th Sharjah Biennial; Transmediale/Club Transmediale, Berlin; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; DEAF, Rotterdam.

Co-Commissions Overview

Working Period II