at the lab
Qala 0.8900
Iteration (3a) of Sawt

13 April – 15 June 2019

In relation to the Arabic writings, Zipf's law dictates that Qala, an Arabic masculine verb meaning “He Said”, is the 12th most common word in its language and frequencies at close to 0.9 percent. The common use of this verb, its situation in the past tense and being the first non prepositional letter within the study could be argued to reveal a subordinate nature in Arab speakers or maybe a reliance on a masculine dictation of the past.

Zipf’s law creates an ambient hum within the language of a certain culture by enforcing an awareness of the frequency that a word is used, creating a cyclical wave similar to the wave of a specific tone.

In this Sawt event, we attempt to romanticise the subconscious and pre-deterministic pattern within language/history, and the ambient cultural tone that it sets within the human behaviours through habit and memory.

This whilst emphasising the strength of political and religious chants as circulated through generations, and the ways that language falls into a certain set of rules and therefore so do these dogmas.

Sawt is the human parallel to the digital exhibition space Samt, it manifests in the form of micro art exhibits and intellectual conversations that take place around the world.

Contributing artists
Tara Aldughaither, Shamma Al Amri, Mays Al Beik, Moza Almatrooshi and Mazen Alashkar. Curated by Walid Al Wawi.

The group exhibition is part of the first phase of our 2019 program At The Lab, bringing together artists and cultural practitioners exploring sound, listening and sonic practices in relation to forms of collective agency, alternative socialities and the emergence of milieus.

Walid Al Wawi
Born in 1988, Walid Al Wawi is a Jordanian Palestinian-native, concerned with the hybridisation of the modern Middle Eastern identity and the implication of the geo-political claustrophobia upon cultural naturalisation.

He is the founder of SAMT, an online exhibition space and mentorship program for artists from the Middle East. The previous iteration of SAMT was hosted by the Tate Modern as part of their Tate Exchange program.