The Museum of languages was created in 2021, commissioned by Mothertongues Festival as part of Cruinniú experience for children and their families.
The museum of languages consists of a number of interactive sculptures and artefacts, related to each other through the fascination about language, memory, culture and art.
The Screen of Memory is a reflective steel plate which holds letters of six different alphabets and artefacts which are activating stories from the past.
The wooden plates are called Memo Discs. Each disc is engraved with an image from the culture and language of its origin, carrying an encoded memo-story from the culture to which it refers.
Each plate has a memo tracker which allows to watch and to listen to the story which can be activated in the next sculpture, “The Story Telling Well”.
“The Story Telling Well” is an interactive sculpture which activates stories told in different languages, referring to and bringing together diverse cultures from around the world.
The memo discs have embedded codes which activate “The Story Telling Well” when they are placed close to the arms of the sculpture.
“The Incal” is a sculpture based on Aztec, Inca and Mayan cultures. It incorporates ancient stone carvings related to those cultures and refers to their knotted languages which can be performed, and explored during the interaction with the sculpture.
Various knots communicate coded information used by the ancient cultures.
The amount of loops of the line and the kind of a knot were particular to the culture which was using the knotted language.
There is a long scroll of Kanji symbols introducing the Far East sign calligraphy. The symbols create a guideline for calligraphy which can be explored during a complementary workshop.
There is a set of puzzles which refer to language discoveries and observations (described by Manchán Magan) about how the Irish language describes colours. The great capacity of this language is captured in variation of colours and shapes of this interactive sculpture.
The same puzzle is translated into the Braille language, to create a sensory experience which familiarises children with the language for those who can’t see.
Interactive Museum of Languages displayed in Dublin 2021. Photo credit Francesca La Morgia
© Tomasz Madajczak