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Animal Languaging

Rogue Syntax


In the second episode of Rogue Syntax: Primer we listen in to animal signals, and attempt to place them within the context of their own worlds – worlds that we humans have become increasingly distanced from but which nonetheless resonate with calls, responses, songs and sonic forms we as yet lack the capacity to understand.

Rogue Syntax wants to echo anarchist scientist-philosopher Peter Kropotkin’s famous 1902 observation that there is far more to animals and their worlds than meets the eye (or ear, as it were), when he wrote:

As soon as we study animals — not in laboratories and museums only, but in the forest and the prairie, in the steppe and the mountains — we at once perceive that though there is an immense amount of warfare and extermination going on amidst various species, and especially amidst various classes of animals, there is, at the same time, as much, or perhaps even more, of mutual support, mutual aid, and mutual defence amidst animals belonging to the same species or, at least, to the same society. Sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle.

This episode is dedicated to the spirit of ongoing curiosity regarding non-human others and their communicative capacities, and draws from the work (both written and sonic) of the following thinkers:

Dr. Jenny Allen, Peter Kropotkin, Noam Chomsky, Alistair Pennycook, Ron Nagorcka, Hollis Taylor, Emily Dickinson, Con Slobodchikoff, John Berger, Val Plumwood, Cath Clover, Felicity Mangan, Olle Holmberg, Charles Hartshorne, Tim Low, Jennifer Ackerman, Donald Kroodsma, Pablo Neruda, Nathan Emery, Andrew Skeoch, Sarah Koschak, Sonia Kleindorfer, Gisela Kaplan, Louise Lawler, Charles Darwin, Frank Watlington, Roger Payne, Judy Collins, Lili Hall, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Krebs, Amotz Zahavi, Anastasia Dalziell and the Cetacean Ecology and Acoustic Laboratory at the University of Queensland at the Moreton Bay Research Station


About this project: Rogue Syntax: Primer is a longform experimental audio project by artists Nathan Gray, Danni Zuvela and Makiko Yamamoto, exploring the dynamics of language within the space of contemporary art.
    • Supported by Liquid Architecture (Melbourne), 1646 (The Hague) and Australia Council for the Arts.


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