Polyvocal Performance of Lingua Ignota
Lingua Ignota, meaning “Unknown Language,” is a collaboratively authored transference of lexical meaning between language systems. Multi-tiered rounds of transcription exercises were relayed between translation communities. Lingua Ignota is concerned with the resulting evolution/slippage of language, especially at the sites of deviation and collision with the author’s original text. Translation rounds yielded the project’s secondary motive: the literal unfolding of an author’s text as it is re-interpreted/curated by a communal readership. To what degree does our subjective reading form another’s interpretation; hence, to what degree does it influence a total communal interpretation? Within the communal process of forming a consensus, the author’s original intent is moderated piece-meal until its supremacy as the “authoritative” document is overhauled. The author may accept or reject this outcome; however, from the moment of the text’s public release, it is no longer bound to the author’s intention.
Blissymbolics was selected as a language system for its impact as a visual language and the ability to break it down into base-concepts and rebuild it into new semantic combinations. Grapheme characters function as base concepts that link with other bases in order to suggest more complex concepts. This segmented construction permits a specific type of parsing. Parsing in this way leaves more room to easily promote a slippage of meaning in how the text is defined, combined and interpreted.