single channel video (16 minutes and 21 seconds)

PDGN is a fiction video that portrays a future in which the world is no longer run by national governments or global corporations, and that is neither utopian nor dystopian. A new link language is developing between people across this world through voluntary self-instruction.

The script for PDGN was constructed from actually spoken, non-native English in a series of workshops. Some aspects of language and narrative were borrowed from feminist fiction that proposes systems of language-change, such as Marge Piercy’s Women on the Edge of Time (1976) and Suzette Haden Elgin’s Native Tongue (1984). The language of the script was further developed by applying common and expected factors of language evolution in the areas of syntax, lexicon, and phonetics. These ‘distorting factors’ were conceptualized with the help of academics in fields such as creole studies, computational linguistics and language acquisition as well as Esperantists, recreational language inventors, and the lead actresses Ariane Barnes, Mouna Albakry and Paula So Man Siu.

The video is subtitled in Dutch, Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French and Spanish but not in contemporary English.

PDGN was co-produced by Basis Aktuele Kunst (BAK) in Utrecht, and realized with support from the Centro Andaluz de Art Contemporáneo (CAAC), Sevilla.


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2016, set photograph by Javier Zuluaga Zilbermann

BAK, Utrecht
CAAC, Sevilla
Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía

Some Name Some Noun Simply


Some Name Some Noun Simply  is a performative work that departs from the language spoken in PDGN: a future link language built up from the ruins of today’s global English. The script was created by applying distorting factors to existing non-standard forms of English. These distorters include characteristics of English currently spoken between non-native speakers; rules of link languages created in fictio; and traits of Creole languages from the past and present.

Some Name Some Noun Simply’s three protagonists arrive from different parts of the world at a place they call the Onomasticon. It is a former site where names were inflicted on people, or taken away from people, such as an immigration office or city hall. They each have their sensitivities in relation to naming and these come to light in a short encounter, which ends in an attempt to rename each other using nouns and verbs only.

The piece was developed by Nicoline van Harskamp in collaboration with Berlin partners Archive Kabinett, Let There Be and Scriptings, and premiered at Archive Kabinett in September 2017. Subsequent stagings took place at the Veem House for Performance in Amsterdam, Tenderpixel in London and the Kunsthalle in Münster. It was made possible with a financial contribution by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.

In each venue, the piece was staged 2 or 3 times in a row, with a discursive moment with Nicoline and the cast in between. As a resource to the audience in London, Tenderpixel and Scriptings co-published a booklet with two different versions of the script for Some Name Some Noun Simply. One version in the language prior to distortion, taken from transcripts of actual spoken English; the other in fully distorted English, notated in International Phonetic Alphabeth.

Some Name Some Noun Simply was performed by Serge Fouha, Kenneth Philip George and Monica Reyes, and the voice of Stephanie Pan.

Some Name Some Noun Simply

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Archive Kabinett

Veem House for Performance


Kunsthalle Münster