Some Name Some Noun Simply

2017–2018 Live performances and publication

Exo, Uno and Endo arrive at the Onomasticon, a former state-run registration office that is now a memorial site. Here, the names that had been taken away from people over the years, appear in large letters on the wall or floor, as their translations are called out. In a short encounter, the characters appear to have particular sensitivities in relation to naming.

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.

Live subtitles in German and Dutch appeared in presentations in Berlin, Amsterdam and Münster. As a resource to the audience in London, a booklet with the script in English and in the International Phonetic Alphabet was published.

Produced with Scriptings and Let There Be in Berlin, and performed at Archive Kabinett in Berlin, Veem House for Performance in Amsterdam, Tenderpixel in London and the Kunsthalle Münster.

With Serge Fouha, Kenneth Philip George, Monica Reyes and Stephanie Pan.


2016 Video

The world in PDGN is no longer run by corporations or national governments, and global travel and trade have disappeared. Every new post-capitalist community needs to take down  structures such as olympic villages and business parks, and recycle their materials for better use. Activists who travel across continents to help out with these ‘restorings’, cause the emergence of a new auxiliary language. In the same way as building materials, they recycle elements of ‘global English’, mixing them with local languages and linguistic attitudes. In the video, the characters Bato and Sayyida welcome the activist Chingshi to their restorings site, and they compare experiences, opinions as well as phonetics.

The characters use a language that has disconnected and evolved away from its monolingual or so-called ‘native English’ center. The dialogue was composed of the ‘Englishes’ that was actually spoken during group meetings held for the purpose of scripting PDGN. It was then fast-forwarded into a future language form through the application of ‘distorters’, strategies used by English speakers world-wide to make themselves understood. These were extracted from (over-) heard speech as well as existing linguistic research in the fields of creolization, language acquisition and constructed language.

The video has been subtitled in Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Dutch, French, Spanish, Swedish, Irish and Italian but not in contemporary English. As part of some installations of the work, an extra video track has been projected, that showed script excerpts changing gradually according to particular ‘distorters’. Parts of the PDGN script, and a list of ‘distorters’ was published in the book My Name is Language in 2021.

Co-produced by BAK Utrecht, with the support of Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Parque Minero de Riotinto in Huelva, and Waterside Contemporary in London.  

With Ariane Barnes, Paula So Man Siu, Mouna Albakry, Lola Botello, Maribel Alarcon, Belen Cobos, Lara Lopez and Esperanza Macias

Wer Mae Hao

2015 Video

A group of children builds a dragon-like puppet from cut-up dictionaries to celebrate the abolition of standard languages and prescriptive education. While working and dancing, the children talk about their tradition in highly individualized varieties of English. The short video was developed for and by children with different language backgrounds at a summer school in Antwerpen.

Co-produced by Extracity Kunsthal in Antwerp.  Presented at Extracity Kunsthal in Antwerp; BAK in Utrecht; CCAC in Cordoba; and Project Art Center in Dublin.

With Abdul Bhatti, Aleeza Ghulam, Aliful Islam Bhuyan, Amapola Cayrafourcq, Angelo Ledi Frances, Antonios Daskalopoulus, Diane Mboungou, Ebenezer Gonah, Ebo Sikder, Ivana Nova, Karista Khan, Leon Elvis Rylant, Mara Mircan, Paraschos Daskalopoulus and Lynn Kocken.

PDGN – video trailer

Woman on the Edge of Time

“Thunderbolt!” Luciente savored it. “I hope we’re not in for a summer of titanic names. Leaping Lightning. Stupendous Fireball. The Earth Dances, The Stars Stand Still. Heroic Revolutionary Fervor. Mao Susan B. Ferenzi. Freedom through Constant Struggle.”

“I suppose you selected Luciente right off,” Jackrabbit crooned, giving her hair a tug. “I suppose you were too sensible, even at thirteen, ever to pick a silly name.”

“Actually I called myself White Light when I came from my naming, so you see I haven’t drifted far. But to confess, I went through the usual oddities. When I was first with Diana, I called myself Artemis.”

“Actually the twin of Artemis was Apollo. Or did you want to be Diana?” Jackrabbit moved beside them, loose-jointed, shambling. “You wanted the moon, Luci, instead of recognizing yourself a creature of the broad pragmatic day.”

“I was a Panther for a while myself,” White Oak said. “As if I’d ever see one, except on the holi. And Liriope—that’s a plant we were breeding for erosion control on the old blast sites when I was first in our base.”

“I fancy that one,” Jackrabbit said. “Liriope…” He leaped ahead to assume a position as flowering plant, head hung back, mouth open, arms arched above his head.

“Venus flytrap,” White Oak said. “Don’t tease me. I remember too well when you moved here, you were going through a name a week.”

“Lord Byron, One Who Crests the Wave, Dark Moon, Wild Goose…” Luciente crooned.

“And I walked into the fooder one day and you told me you were going to give me my name of the week, Wild Porkchop. That was the first time I noticed you. Now you’d better forget—I’m meaner than you are!” He hopped to Connie’s side. “Did you never have another name? Or do you just keep changing that second name?”

They were walking a broad path beside the tidal river. Every twenty feet wooden benches stood. White Oak took a seat at a table, inviting them to stare at the flow of the currents, the tide washing slowly in. A high in the water Goat skimmed past them, going downriver against the tide.

“It’s funny, but the way you talk reminds me of people in … in the institution where I’m locked up. … A lot of the time we don’t talk to each other there, but there are … fewer fences than outside. Anyhow, in a way I’ve always had three names inside me. Consuelo, my given name. Consuelo’s a Mexican woman, a servant of servants, silent as clay. The woman who suffers. Who bears and endures. Then I’m Connie, who managed to get two years of college—till Consuelo got pregnant. Connie got decent jobs from time to time and fought welfare for a little extra money for Angie. She got me on a bus when I had to leave Chicago. But it was her who married Eddie, she thought it was smart. Then I’m Conchita, the low-down drunken mean part of me who gets by in jail, in the bughouse, who loves no good men, who hurt my daughter. …”

When she stopped short, the others were silent but did not seem scared or judgmental. As usual, Luciente spoke first. “Maybe Diana could help you to meld the three women into one.”

“I had a warring self in me when I was thirteen. The things I wanted, I didn’t think I should want, so I put them out of myself to plague and threaten me.” Jackrabbit spoke with an ironic lilt, but not an irony aimed at her. “I tore so, I saddened I’d gone through my naming. I wanted to return to the children’s house, with my mothers ready to fuss when I called them. I had begun to train as a shelf diver, but I didn’t want to do that; at the same time I couldn’t feel what I did want. … You don’t at core believe you’re three women—that’s a useful way to talk about your life.  But I did believe the ocean was trying to drown me, cause I felt swallowed by the training. …”

“What happened to you?” she asked him.

“I went mad with fear. In the madhouse I met Bolivar and he was good for me in learning to say that initial ‘I want, I want.’ I had played a lot as a child with paints and with holies and I felt … almost alive then. I had to do that in the center of my life. I had to follow my comps through and even push it. So Bolivar and I want to study with Marika of Amherst. Then I studied in Provincetown with Blackfish. You see, I’m a needy type and every time I lack, I add on. The next time I jagged, I grabbed Luciente.”

“You came from Fall River?” White Oak asked him.

He nodded. “I moved here with Bolivar.”

“Our gain.” White Oak grinned. “Not for your winning disposition always, but you make pretty things and strong holies. In the shop yesterday was a screen-batching the new tintos of Luciente turning her belly up to the sun.”

“White Oak, you graze me,” Luciente said. “How can you say it’s my belly?”

“Person has a good belly,” Jackrabbit said. “I like good round bellies. Like yours, White Oak.”

Excerpt from Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, published in the book My Name is Language

PDGN – collaged script for exhibition poster
PDGN language distorter track (excerpt)
Wer Mae Hao – video excerpt

Some Name Some Noun Simply

198     is remind self about…
198     ɪz ɹimaɪn sɛlf abaʊʋ…

199     since while exis such automation
199     zɪn ʋaɪl ɛgzɪs sɑʃ ɔtomeɪʃɑn

200     been done this five alphabet by one-full teaming at any newing person
200     bɪn dɑn dɪs faɪv ɛlfabɛd baɪ ʋɑnful timɪŋ ɛt ɛni nuʋɪŋ bɛɹzɑn

201     reason rub away classing classes in any nay
201     ɹizɑn ɹabaʋeɪ glasɪŋ glazəz ɪn ɛni neɪ

202     neutrally for no connotatering
202     nutɑɹɑli fɔɹ no cɔnoteɪʃəɹɪŋ

203     to mean maybe drive soun simply
203     du min meɪbi dɑɹaɪv saʊn zɪmbli

204     this [r] de motioning one
204     dɪs rː də mosənɪŋ ʋɑn

205     this [a] de pass big one
205     dɪs aː də pɑs bɪg ʋɑn

206     this [i] de any smalling one what pierce of anything     
206     dɪs iː də ɛni smɑlɪŋ ʋɑn ʋɑt piɹs ɔv ɛnitɪŋ

207     this mirrors rythms de actions
207     dɪs mɪɹɑɹ ɹɪdɪmz dɑ ɛgʃɑns

208     pass five thousands turns, the barkers ones, at thems two-sound-parts nays
208     pɑs faɪf taʊsɑnt tɛrn,  bɑrka wɑns, ɛt tɛms tu-saʊn-pɑrt neɪç

209     any nays more nay-wise as other one
209     ɛni naɪz mɔɹ neɪ-ʋaɪz ɛz ɑdəɹ ʋɑn

The voice-over interrupts.

210     there!
210     tɛr!

211     ce clatterfull wheel?
211     ʃə glɛdɑɹful ʋil?

212     clatterfull wheel!
212     klɛtɛrfɔl wil!

213     none eventual
213     nɑn ivɛnʃuʋal

214     that one root us place
214     dɛt ban əɾut ɑs pəleɪ

215     any bit sad what pressing this person at-them
215     ɛni bɪt sɛt wɑt prɛsɪŋ tɪs pɛrsɛn ɛtɛm

217     all person from the necessity some one one-time nay at-them
217     ɑl pɛɹs fəɾɔm də nəsɛsəti sam bɑn bɑnə-taɪ neɪ ɛ-dɛm

218     been string use alphabet ever langin know of
218     bin stəɾɪŋ əjuz ɛləfəbɛʔ ɛvə lɛŋkɪn noʔ

219     be-hear way of moddy denomation
219     biçir weɪ ɔf mɔti dinomeɪʃɔn

220     forever while been sing been ban for end-nays
220     pɔɾɛbebaɪ bɪnə sɪŋk bɪn bɛn pəɾ ɛnədə neɪ

221     un-integrate endower-ism big-cup lil-cup
221     ɑnɪnətəgɾeɪː ɛnədəɾɪsəmə bɪ-ka lɪl-ka

222     what time doing forens a-file?
222     ʋɑtaɪm duɪŋ fɔɹɛns ɑfaɪl?

223     set set nay the mine, like simple
223     sɛtəsɛt neɪtəmaɪ, la sɪməpəʔ

224     ce mine obligation make to split nay two part?
224     tʃə maɪn ɔbələgeʃən meɪ tu splɪʔ neɪ tʃu pɑɾ ?

225a   ce one-self some broke skin a-bring?
225a   tʃə bɑn-sɛl sɑm bəɾokəskɪn a-bɾɪm?

225b   denomating this injure springs a-prime sound-wit-sign us belong
225b   nomitɪŋ ətɪs ɪntʃɜɾ spəɾɪŋk əpəɾaɪ saʊn-bɪ-saɪ ɑs bilɔŋk

226     pairing been scissor-off mine nay, ol paper-coat pre-dispose them
226     pɛɹɪŋ bin sgɪzəɹ-ɔv maɪ neɪ, ol pebəɹ-goʔ pɑɹi-dɪsboz dɛm

227     when they polutes, myself injure myself nays
227     ʋɛn deɪ poludz, maɪzɛlf ɪndʒɑɹ maɪzɛlf neɪz

228     ce answer-nay memoring so?
228     tʃɛ ɑnsɑr-neɪç mɛmɔrɪŋ so?

229     been receive particury say-her
229     bɪn rɪsif pɑrtɪkjuri seɪ-çɛr

230     with what time body ap-pel that one side
230     wɪt wɑt taɪm bɑdi apɛl dɛt wɑn sɑɪt

231     at you obligation answer her two side
231     ɛt ju ɔpləkeɪʃən ɑnsərɛr tu sɑɪt

232     they tell: “lion hearts”
232     deɪ tɛl: “laɪjɔn ʔɑrts”

233     with at you obligation answer so “uneasy for finding”
233     wɪt ɛt ju ɔpləkeɪʃən ansər so “ɑnisi fɔ faɪntɪŋ”

234     they tell: “onesomeness”
234     deɪ tɛl: “wɑnsɑmnɛs”

235     “similar sorrowful”
235     “zɪmɑlɑɹ zɔɹovul”

236     “beside that starks”
236     “bisaɪ dɛt stɑrks”

237     “could never super-come”
237     “gu nɛva zubəɹ-gɑm”

238     nays such sharding
238     neɪ sɑtʃə ʃɑɾədɪm

239     at luck, you-me-the-three never long been assume, it could that you been call 
239     ɛt lɑk, ju-mi-də-tri nɛvɛr lɔŋ bɪn asum, ɪt ku tɛt ju bɪn kɑl

240     y so truly-nays existence at
240     i so truli-neɪ eksɪstəns ɛt

241     be no long no inhabit
241     bi no lɔŋ no hɛbɪt

242     be occur
242     bi ɔkɜɹ

243     way verb way account
243     beɪ vɜɹəb, beɪ ʔəkaʊn

244     all meets, valent hear this story respoke
244     ɑl mit, bɛlən-tɪ sətɔɾi ɾisəpo

246     “sugarly spite what nex longsome disluminate”
246     “ʃukɛrli spaɪt wɑt neks lɔŋsɑm dɪsluminaɪt”

247     “be speak please with hex awise”
247     “bi səpik əpliz bɪ ʔɛks əbaɪ”

248     “this one-eye some luming be-squeeze”
248     “dɪsə ban-aɪ sɑm lumɪn bi-skəbiːs”

249     “chiefly lines be-mark some disremit concern”
249     “ʃifli laɪnz bi-mɑɹk sɑm dɪsrɛmɪt gɔnzɜɹn”

Uno off.

Script excerpt from Some Name Some Noun Simply in roman and phonetic alphabet

Some Name Some Noun Simply – promotional trailer