UNLANGUAGE

(2012)

Adriana Varella/ Heather Dewey-Hagborg (collaborator)

interactive computer program and 10 channels video projections.

The interactive projection/installation starts with 2 volunteers-participants who each will type one word on two distinct laptops placed on opposite sides of the room, attempting to create a telepathic experience. Based on a custom computer program, these 2 words will become associated and develop into an unpredictable phrase that the computer will extend into different languages, without the control of the artists’ original setting. The associative phrase will branch out into different directions, like a rhizome, creating many bifurcations and new possibilities of associations and meanings. This interactive unfolding will be projected onto walls, ceiling, and floor of the gallery. Each letter that is formed will be tied to a specific musical sound referencing the body’s incidental noises, creating a unique symphony for each word and phrase. In this way the sounds of each letter are remapped to a new alphabet of noise, making literal the arbitrariness of the spoken word.

Suddenly all the words will start to collapse.

"unlanguage" Mediations Biennial THE UNKNOWN - Poznan / Poland /  2012

Video "unlanguage" Mediation Biennial THE UNKNOWN - Poznan / Poland / 2012

 

Why destroy the language?

The intention of this work is to dissect the impact of language in its unconscious dimension, by questioning the strategies and structures that precede the learning of any specific grammar or vocabulary, belonging to a cerebral initial stage referring to a corporeal-behavioral language. Everybody is at the same time an user and creator of the language, so it is up to us to realize an analysis of the language through specific concepts.

Language is a social agreement that builds codes of representations and categories. These limitations created a fictitious unity, which origin is exclusively a linguistic reality established inside a cultural dialectic based on binary structures(female/male).

So, if language is responsible for sexual and gender division, the feminine and the masculine simply don't exist outside of language. If the majority of children have a decent command of the language at the age of two, how can they possibly become independent interlocutors? If there is a patriarchal/universal grammar inherent to a social contract, how can freedom of speech exist? How can we express ourselves without being oppressed and limited by linguistics? Do I feel oppressed by this word? What is the possibility of criticizing the language on libertarian principles? Is a form of metalanguage capable of offering criteria to evaluate the language itself? What about a de-construction or maybe an abstraction of the language towards a trans-language? What are the possibilities for the realization of a communication ideal?

We will try to use language against language so as to subvert it and free it from its conditioning role. We will try to transcend it until its incoherence becomes its coherence. Beyond interpretation, representation and linguistic boundaries. Associated with customer computer, the branching poems will gradually destroy themselves letter by letter, revealing the disorganization and chaos that exist before and beyond language. In the unconscious, the irrational, the inexplicable, the unknown. Language cannot capture sensations; Language organizes meanings and meanings are rules, conventions, and instruments of power. We want every meaning be out of order, out of duty, lost.

To accomplish this, the computer programming will combine multiple languages so as to erase cultural boundaries, introduce contradictions, create dissonances and welcome coincidence as the true author of the poem. Piece by piece, the unpredictable ramifications will break down all grammatical usages, all time and space values, all ordinary connections with context. The poem will find its substance in its ruins, in its personal dust, in its barbarity, in its anarchy, in its own research of freedom and autonomy.