A Counting is an ongoing series of linguistic portraits of the US featuring various spoken and sign languages. Created in response to the US Census which has historically misrepresented the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the US, A Counting serves as a meditation and speculation on what a truly united society would look and sound like.
The series includes city specific spoken language as well as national spoken and sign language editions.
Each edition is created by crowdsourcing either phone or camera recordings of people counting to 100 in their languages, and remixing them into counts of 100 with a different person and language for every number. As a “language acknowledgment”, one is always in an Indigenous language, if available.
There are a few numbers in rare and endangered languages that we don't have recordings for. So we’ve included them as silences or blanks to hold space for them. Our algorithm also privileges these languages such that they will be seen and heard more frequently.
We're hoping to expand the series and are looking to partner with cultural institutions and community groups including museums, galleries, libraries, schools, places of worship and Indigenous groups. So if you and your community want to be part of our count, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.