art ± language

I was a panelist in a class led by poet Adam Sol at University of Toronto as part of a discussion about the relation between art and language. It was a fantastic event, with cartoonist Rebecca Roher, artist Hiba Abdullah and visual poet Dona Mayoora. I prepared a text to present for which I also made a video, thinking that demonstrating some of my thoughts would be more effect than just reccounting them. 

The video is above and the text is below.

art ± language

the language

the language

the language of words

the language of letters

the language of colours

the language of shapes

the language of sound






the language of bones

a skeleton is a tall white paragraph

covered in sound

and oh yeah, tone, texture, taste


what is the dictionary definition of a sound?

what if a word has no sound?

and anyway, what if a word has a colour?

and what is the weight of that colour?

what is the weight of a letter?

how long is a semi-colon?

what does a semi-colon feel like in the hands?

on the tongue?

what does a semi-colon sound like?

is it possible to make a hyphen reach to the Kuiper Belt?

what if you took off your skin and made a word out of it?

would there be silent letters?

how would you pronounce the freckles?

can you tell the personality of the letter H just by looking at it?

how is it that a letter has a shape AND a sound?

does a square have a sound? 

how do you pronounce the shape of a triangle?

how are your lungs like a capital H?

a book is just choreography for words

which is to say

language as a second English or Double Dutch

if all you have is subject object verb, everything is a sentence

that swimming pool, that dog, the forest which is all adjective except for the trees

once I dreamt that there were letters even more capital than the capital letters we have, letters even more lowercase than the lowercase letters that already exist.

my favourite grammatical fact is—dot dot dot—you have to put an ellipsis back in to show that you’ve taken it out.