Undoing the glossary (a future sample)

Category: Practices

Valia Papastamou



Undoing the glossary (a future sample) proposes sound morphologies that attempt to corrode the regularities and literal formations of a glossary and its language. 

For this project,  Saidiya Hartman’s text "The plot of her undoing" is introduced in  an API (application programming interface) assistant for the linguistic analysis of affect. Departing from this text and the data collected from its linguistic analysis, a new text is generated, which is presented as a script intended to be read by a bot-digital application. The audio sample, enacted through the voice of the bot, refers to a possible Undoing of the glossary: it is the snapshot of a mechanism that functions as a larva. The mechanism of the “larval subject” guides its affect, resists digital data, begins to find errors in the code, and invites others to participate in it. 

The question that emerges relates to the emancipatory power of the surfacing bot: How can the narration of the bot-as-voice make us reflect on the notion of agency itself? 

Undoing the glossary (a future sample), develops through various simulations of results produced from what seems to be a programmed language. Through this practice, the project questions the 'knowledge' introduced into programming models aiming to produce new linguistic data; the ways through which 'training' tactics are developed in order to derive desired results based on the criterion of 'affect'. It also further attempts to produce a hybrid narrative that involves ways through which "we learn to be affectfully motivated" through the dissolution and transformation of information. It focuses on the relationship between code and the unconscious, on the disconnection of representation, on the “double-speaking” of code and language, as well as on practices that question the control of human consciousness by investing in the elasticity of the forces of affect.