The Laboratory Arts Collective

Last Whispers


This Friday at the Ford Theater in Los Angeles, Lena Herzog’s oratorio for vanishing voices will play under a night sky. Nothing could be more fitting than experiencing this work in an outdoor amphitheater, under the stars.

Herzog writes about her mission Last Whispers is a project about the mass extinction of languages. By definition, this extinction occurs in silence, since silence is the very form it takes. Every two weeks the world loses a language. At an unprecedented speed, faster than the extinction of some species, our linguistic diversity—the very means by which we know ourselves—is eroding. Today, out of the 7,000 languages remaining on Earth, only 30 are spoken among the majority of the world population. It is estimated that at least half of the planet’s currently spoken languages will have died out by the end of this century. Some estimates project a much greater speed of disappearance.”

If you are in Los Angeles, come to the Ford or to LACMA,

We hope to see you there.