Sunday, January 3, 2010

Giraffes are giraffing and people are peopling

New mix: Giraffes are giraffing and people are peopling

part 1
part 2

Loving that song by The Go-Betweens Too Much Of One Thing:

"nothing in these days is constant, come home to chance"

I was listening to a podcast by Alan Watts and he was going off on the restraints of language. He said that many Eastern languages don't have such a strong distinction between parts of speech, such as nouns and verbs. Even in Korean, there's so many nouns and verbs that are the same word, and you can turn most nouns into a verb by just altering the ending slightly (by adding the "to do" verb stem).

In fact, he said that in the overall recorded history of languages, Western languages probably maintain a thin minority in the way that its speakers create and forge brutal divisions between grammatical structures. This unnecessary categorization of language into isolated parts (such as nouns and verbs, where some words are strictly "agents" and others are strictly "operators"), introduces a multitude of limitations on the way we can use language.

What he suggests, and what I have to strongly agree with, is the notion of how free-flowing and limitless language could be once these restraints are taken off it. He imagines a world where "Giraffes are giraffing, trees are treeing, stars are starring, clouds are clouding, rain is raining, and people are peopling."

And yet as much as I support this idea, so many times I feel like if I don't place a set of arbitrary constraints on myself for a particular art project, I feel so listless and unable to produce anything at all. Weird.

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