“Warning: Laughter can be dangerous for your illness.”

Humor is indissociable from the work of Esther Ferrer. Indeed, it is her absurd view of society, laden with an irony peculiar to the artist, which allows her to construct an artistic corpus with a markedly critical character.

For this installation, Ferrer has focused on laughter. She has hung a series of electronic devices from different points on a world map that is standing on the floor. These are thirty seven tablets showing images of mouths that belong to people of different ages, genders and provenances, while reproducing the sound of their laughs. The sound archives are activated by the interaction of visitors, since they are programmed to start every time they are approached, allowing the spontaneous production of what the artist calls “concerts of laughter”

The installation is also designed to activate different laughter groups at random according to the visitors’ position on the map.

The work is based on the sound of laughter as an ephemeral sound that can turn into a work of art. Ferrer takes a natural, organic sound—laughter—and extends it over time by means of the recordings, arranges it in space on the map, and leaves it in the hands of the viewer, who decides when each set of sounds starts playing as if they were elements in a musical composition.

Esther Ferrer explains the aim of this installation:

The installation The Laughs of the World is, by no means, laughter therapy. Its main goal is to make the viewer laugh and, at the same time, “listen to the laughter of the world”: children, adults, and old people from different countries and cultures laughing. For each culture, each language (some scholars believe that language developed out of laughter) gives shape to laughter in their own particular ways.

Besides, the viewer can use a Laugh Lab (Laboratorio de la risa) to create, in the words of Ferrer, “other amazing, different forms of laughter that are hard, or rather impossible, for human vocal chords to produce.”