“Performing Hypo-Linguistics” by Minka Stoyanova, Lisa SoYoung Park

  • ©2016, Minka Stoyanova and Lisa SoYoung Park, Performing Hypo-Linguistics
  • ©2016, Minka Stoyanova and Lisa SoYoung Park, Performing Hypo-Linguistics


    Performing Hypo-Linguistics

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Creation Year:



    Installation and performance


    Performance has multiple 5 mins performance sessions

Artist Statement:

    Is there a potential language below language? …below consciousness? …beyond the sign? What are the post/para-human potentials for language beyond linguistic signification, below the level of consciousness? What can the subconscious communicate, and what might such communication look like?

    Performing Hypo-Linguistics considers these questions through its proposition of a technologically mediated, cyborg communication and collaboration system. In this system, traditional linguistic concepts/objects/materialities are impossible to relay. Furthermore, neither performer can enact conscious control of the system. Thus, each performer must rely on the instinctive reactions of their subconscious state to provide ambiguous, but instantaneous feedback to the other. Hence, the system proposes a communicative feedback loop beyond (and below, more visceral than) the consciously mediated realm of linguistic representation.

    Neural Science, through the discovery of mirror neurons — neurons which mimic in our brains the mental state of the other — allows us to imagine the possibility of a para/hyper-linguistic system that is perpetually engaged, but inaccessible to our conscious minds. As we see in Abramovic’s Mutual Wave Machine, these neurons drive a perpetual process of synchronization. However, they also imply a form of communication — a constant state information transfer occurring just below our sense-experience. It is this communication that we seek to hijack and to hack. As such, we hope to create a harmonious discourse that reveals our distinctly human potential for collaborative evolution. Performing Hypo-Linguistics proposes an alternative enunciation of a pre/post-linguistic signification system that is realize-able only through the human-as-cyborg.