Who Is Peaceful?, Video, 2017. Produced for Kozmikomiks at tranzit.sk, curated by Lucia Gregorová Stach.
This work began with the constructed language of Esperanto. A language created to simplify communication, bring people together, overcome differences, and coexist peacefully. I moved quickly from Esperanto, to the invented Language of Space: aUI, which was developed by Viennese psychoanalyst Dr. John Weilgart in the 1970s. ‘In aUI, every letter always stands for one basic, core idea, and always stands for that idea.’ aUI extended these ideas of Esperanto outward, in hopes that it could be used in a similar way to communicate in space.
In researching aUI, I discovered other texts by Weilgart, mainly Who Is Peaceful? from 1950. It predates his development of aUI, but possesses a similar optimism. It talks about an America that I am unfamiliar with, especially in 2017. These themes offered some sense of escape from the most uncertain domestic moment of my lifetime, and presented questions that are perhaps more relevant than ever.
The dictionary of aUI references the Hopi word ‘koyanisquaatsi’, which translates roughly to ‘life out of balance’ and is used to describe Western Culture. Dr. Weilgart said he ‘developed aUI to address that’. The audio for this work is a modified version of Cloud Scape composed by Philip Glass for the Godfrey Reggio film Koyanisquaatsi.
In thinking about aUI, connecting to space and alternate life, I found myself looking to the sky. I live in one of the higher trafficked air spaces in America, and the contrails of planes are ever present above (and additionally offer their own conspiracy theory-laced narratives). The idea of the plane drawing in the sky, unbeknownst to or at least unseen by the passengers or pilot, intrigues me. It is impossible to film these planes and not also think of the space shuttle Columbia, NASA and space travel itself as an icon of the USA.