Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 12th

Workshop / Word of Mouth: When Our Lips Speak Together

Authors: Sarah Ciston, Noa Kaplan, Fidelia Lam, Lisa Müller-Trede, Szilvia Ruszev, Holly Willis


Gape, yawn, laugh, scream, lick, gnash, mute, breathe. Who speaks? Who is not allowed to speak? What gets spoken? We reclaim “word of mouth” in this interactive workshop that invites participants to open their mouths and play in the technologized space between misreading and citation.


Theme: embodiment, sensuous knowledge, artistic research, creative critical writing, participatory practice

Inscriptions open:

  • Abstract: Our session nestles into a gap between misreading and citation, between ways of knowing prompted by sound, sight and those facilitated by touch. The misreading? The word “gap” can also be “gape” thanks to their shared roots in the German word “gaffen,” which means to gape, to open the mouth wide, to yawn. And the citation? “When Our Lips Speak Together” is the title of philosopher Luce Irigaray’s seminal 1977 essay in which she both models a form of critical thought that speaks the body while also calling for a tactile poetics that moves beyond a binary logic of conflict. 

    We will attend, therefore, to the mouth, to word of mouth, to lips moving together and to the circles that spiral from in and out of the mouth.
    Our workshop invites participants to feel their mouths and bodies, to gape and yawn, pucker, lick, laugh, gnash, breathe, and hum — moving from the lips inwards to teeth and tongues and deeper into the throat and lungs through a series of guided provocations. We ask who speaks, what speaks, who is allowed to speak, and what gets spoken. While “word of mouth” points to a generally maligned oral tradition, how might we reclaim it together, passing ideas along mouth to mouth? 

    We will amplify and enhance our lips to sing, murmur, stutter and scream, augmenting the embodied through our technologies. Can we conjure an alternative oral tradition? We think so. Together. Our lips will speak together.

  • Biography: We are an interdisciplinary research group of Ph.D. students and faculty from the Division of Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California. Sarah Ciston is a computational media artist exploring how to bring intersectional feminist, queer, and anti-racist theories and practices to AI; Noa Kaplan is a visual artist focused on the intersections of physical and digital space; Fidelia Lam is an experimental media artist working with sound and live performance; Szilvia Ruszev is media artist and scholar challenging the materiality of digital media; Lisa Müller-Trede is a media/performance artist and scholar interested in the performative dimension of virtuality and the virtual in the live event; Holly Willis is a scholar and writer investigating film, video and new media.


  • MACBA - Convent dels Àngels

Plaça dels Àngels, 5, Barcelona

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