PIXELISH Edit event

Pixelish is a standalone workshop that looks at the creation of a constructed language for the Pixelache community

The workshop will function to create the beginning of a speculative auxiliary language for the community, not for the purposes of practical application but as a means to reflect upon the ways in which language is used, both internally and globally. The workshop is also open to the broader public but it is primarily a tool for the association's linguistic self-reflection. The outcome, if any, of this workshop is not predetermined and will occur through the collective consensus of the participants.


The aim of the workshop and final outcome is a dialectal catharsis explored through the sharing of language and the creation of a common tongue. The intent is to explore the relationships between different language speakers within the community. Rather than regarding language as primarily a tool for communication, we will regard language as a mode of cognition, a way of seeing the world that will hopefully be shared in order to impact each other to engender agency and strengthen empathy. By creating a speculative mutually intelligible tongue for Pixleache we offer new and unique insight into the community outside of the usual parameters available through the existing language hierarchies present in the community.

The operational languages chosen within cultural organizations are naturally informed by broader global trends, many opt to use the dominant language forms of their contexts (i.e. National/official state languages), however more frequently where the context shifts towards an international focus or includes partners with international backgrounds, cultural organizations make use of globally dominant forms. International English is regularly treated as an auxiliary language, however, it and most other globally dominant languages have attained these positions as a result of a colonial past. In any case, the choice of languages we use, whether a conscious decision or not, inarguably affects communication and consequentially is worth thinking about. 

Linguistic relativity, often misattributed as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, is a group of theories that propose the structure of any given language affects the cognition, perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs of its speakers. If this is true then what is the potential impact of a language with an attached history of colonialism and supremacy? Is this history within the DNA of a language, within its linguistic structure and if so what does it impart upon our consciousness? How does it inform the relationships that we have with each other, beyond just our cultural background but the very words that fall out of our mouths?

The workshop will make use of language construction as an experimental methodology, with resources employed from Mark Rosenfelder’s Language Construction Kit informed by some of the insights collected in Language Invention in Linguistics Pedagogy (Various authors) as well as other materials from Steve Maher's own library of Con-language texts. 

The outcome will be determined by the activity of the participants, it might simply be a glossary of terms, an original written piece in the created language, or a recording of the language's numerical system. The main body of the work is the relationship that is explored within the workshop itself, any artistic artifact which might come about as a result of the workshop is the communal property of the workshop's stakeholders and theirs to do with as they see fit.


Free registrations for the Workshop here