Rachel Margetts in collaboration with Siobhra Quinlain and Ben Osborn (Sound).

Performed at GLOGAUAIR Artist in residence program, Berlin, 22/07/16 and IDLE CHATTER, Salford, 22/10/16

Welcome to the lecture. You can sit, and I will talk. Do we already know what will happen here, what will happen in the space in between you and me? Is language always vertical? Can it become horizontal? In psychodynamic theory a dynamic can be shifted by developing a new language or model of action. In maths by adding a new variable. These dynamic systems can also both become understood by examining in an unlimited depth the pre-existing variables the systems exist within. However, as chaos theory tells us, these variables are really never ending.

Lingua is the age-old battle of communication, condensed into a 20-minute audiovisual lecture. This is a lecture which plays on a struggle of meaning; it contorts the word as it’s spoken and challenges the space between communication. In Lingua I am asking: Why are we fixated with the notion of attaining understanding or holding on to meaning? How can we actually ‘speak’ about language anyway? Do we ever really say something, have we ever said anything? What does it mean to ask?

Lingua looks to the unusual combination of fractal mathematics, chaos theory and Japanese poetry to discuss language problems. It works with these themes analogously, and in this way aims to replicate the broader psychological structure of human languages. As the lecture is delivered, a four-way soundscape of infinite glissandos passes sound around the room. In every silence, every pause, the video automatically generates fractal complexities, chaotic order. Audio and visual combine to expose the entropic reverberation of language – both in terms of physical reality and of meaning.


LINGUA Extract.