Project Proposal – Guy van Belle

Within the context and continuation of the projects I have been doing over the last years I would like to propose to work out a short collaborative/open project on location, with one or more Maori artists. My own background is within the areas of sound and music, extending what I call ‘media writing’ (or “writing” with all possible media) to more interactive forms of online involvement and creativity. Over the last years I have been trying to introduce radically ecological components within new and experimental forms of art, related to current communication and multidisciplinary media forms. The purpose is to bring out a new awareness and at the same time a new sense of sensibility.

In most of my works, I am trying to work on the borderline with sound and music, but again on the edge, exploring possible relationships between the auditive and visual, starting from a perceptive point of view. Over the last years I have been living within a very multilinguistic context, and am becoming very much interested in overlapping differences. For instance, how come that certain terms in completely different language families reflect similarity, as if a master translator was at work. In a more abstract sense I would like to work in New Zealand with onomatopoeia words, which can bridge cultural differences between all age and gender categories, and different cultural backgrounds.

An onomatopoeia or onomatop¦ia (about this sound pronunciation (US), from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία; [1]  ὄνομα for “name”[2] and  ποιέω for “I make”,[3] adjectival form: “onomatopoeic” or “onomatopoetic”) is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Onomatopoeia (as an uncountable noun) refers to the property of such words. Common occurrences of onomatopoeia include animal noises, such as “oink” or “meow” or “roar”. Onomatopoeia are not the same across all languages; they conform to some extent to the broader linguistic system they are part of; hence the sound of a clock may be tick tock in English, dī dā in Mandarin, or katchin katchin in Japanese. (Source:

The idea of the project, would be to start recording specific sounds coming from water and stones. Different people would interpret these and transform these sounds through language, making onomatopoeia out of it. It is essential for working with different communities, indigenous or not, to have a local artist involved. I would do everything together with that artist. From the recording of the natural sounds to the community work and contextualisation, to the representation and documentation for a presentation at the end. And when I mean working with another artist I mean working with that artist(s) together, without any hierarchical or leading role, deciding together on every aspect of the resulting work.


Givan Bela (aka Guy Van Belle)  In his early years he studied literature and linguistics, a little philosophy and sculpting but after 1989 he made a radical switch to computer music and experimental media art. Since the millenium bug, he refuses to work but in a collaborative context. Currently he is involved in the artist run organization OKNO, finishing the larger collaborative and experimental ecological art project Time Inventors’ Kabinet <><>. Additionally he is developing a series of ecological mixed media works in the Czech countryside (Vysocina). Apart from lecturing and organizing workshops, he is also finishing a series of articles about ecology and media art, as part of a continuing effort to extend current artistic research. For SCANZ 2012 he is preparing a transcultural media work about onomatopeias. For the 7th of November, 2022, he is preparing a homage to Arseny Avraamov in Baku.<>