To set language in motion, to take the sign out of its stasis and to free language from its constraints is the dream of many a modernist and postmodern project that has come true today with the digital revolution. Words start whirling on the screen, they flicker by, they appear and disappear according to a script or a click of the mouse. It seems as if language has lost its stability, as if it has become indeterminate; it seems as if it has lost its materiality, as if it has become virtual, but the question is of course whether the medium affects the being of language.
Was language ever stable and referential? Positing that language has materiality, has language lost its materiality in cyberspace? Or, was it already lost? These are questions that have a bearing only if we see language as self-contained and distinct from its users, that is, if we perceive language as originary and uncontaminated by the Other, by an Other that embodies language within a corporeal practice. The question of the materiality of language is hence a question of the way in which the body is involved in language production, be it the speaker’s/writer’s body or other bodies and other texts, and the various ways in which they may interact.
Shades of Cogs shows an array a mapping a new media reading of texts published in the ‘old’ media print. The readings speaks about the indeterminacy and ex-stasis of signs, of mappings and structural frameworks. And music.
By happy coincidence, and despite his ambivalent relation to music, the string instrument kora resounds in Plato’s concept the chora, which he sees as a receptacle for the soul.
By happy coincidence, the string instrument kora resounds in Julia Kristeva’s rereading of the chora as the semiotic chora, a receptacle for the unconscious that embodies our being in the world. And this chora, this otherness, can be heard in the rhythms of our language, in the body’s movement…, and in the compositions we create.