Xeno-tonguing* and the linguistic perspectives on the incomprehensible

Extracts from Xeno-Tongue Manifesto

Between licking and mispronouncing, the project deals with the pedagogical importance to think with the tongue and to speak the language of the enemy, the unknown, the opponent and the foreigner. Going out of oneself, to rediscover the common; Through the tongue, the self and the ambient relate in humid negotiations where encounters exceed the oral cavity’s privacy.

Taste, bacteria, licking, kiss, talking. Full of life, microbiome and vibrancy, many exchanges are driven by the oral muscle and its infrastructure of hospitality where other beings, physically or vocally, are let in. Moreover, in times of virus-phobia, masking, raging racism and urban cleansing its viscous character becomes a resourceful space of resilience and the dialectics between omitting contact and longing for the most intimate touch is becoming a signifier for today’s discourse.

Non-judgmental as they are, tongues must wonder what interaction can be conceived for those that seek no dialogue. In other words: what form of lingual transgression in front of aggressions? Wouldn’t our saliva even mix with one of our enemies, bullies, oppressors? Wouldn’t a tongue kiss a nazi? Would it enter Nato or would it stay non-aligned? How would it respond to nowadays turmoil and socio-political scenarios of hate and violence?

Beyond peace and war, in the tongue the impulses to hate and love are interwoven and might invert inside this orifice. In and out of the mouth, Xeno-Tongue epistemology functions as a counterbalance operating through openness, unconditional hospitality, longing, imagination, sensuality and fantasy.

Thanks to the tongue and its humid texture human and non-human animals stretch the limits of tolerance by hosting otherness within a greater situated experience and memory of pleasure, desire, sensuality, poetics, taste which sustain ourselves to negotiate, to host or to surrender.

+ Xeno-Tongue Files Installation, IASPIS Open Studio Stockholm

Stills from 6 video exercises

The co-creative writing of Xeno-Tongue manifesto through licking and photocopying.


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