Element 3

My Name Is Language

Part of the series “Scriptings: Political Scenarios”
In the fictive worlds represented in this book, society is not centralized, not oversized, and self-naming is brought forward as a form of self-empowerment and resistance.

Ed.: Achim Lengerer/Scriptings
Text: Avishek Ganguly, Marge Piercy
Design: Julie Högner, Archive Appendix
E-Book Design: Janine Sack, Camila Coutinho
Published by: Scriptings/EECLECTIC

E-Book: approx. 200 pages
Arabic, Ewé, French, Hindi, German, Irish, Dutch, Portuguese, Urhobo, Croatian, English and Englishes
68 images (photographs and video stills), 10 audio clips, 1 text animation
epub 27 MB
October 2020
ISBN 978-3-947295-61-6
6,99 Euro

Book: 208 pages
56 images, 11 x 18 cm
14,00 Euro (available at Archive Books)

Bundle: Book + E-Book
ISBN 978-3-947295-62-3
17,00 Euro

6,99 EUR17,00 EUR

Gedruckt erhältlich bei / printed available at: Archive Books


Central to this book are scripts by Nicoline van Harskamp, for the video work PDGN and a series of staged works titled My Name Is Language. Speech is the medium and the main topic of both of these works, that treat names as spoken language rather than spelled identity markers. A scholar of literary arts and performance culture, Avishek Ganguly reflects in his essay “Global Englishes, Rough Futures” on questions of translation, incomprehension, and untranslatability in van Harskamp’s work. The book also includes a list of text-change algorithms that van Harskamp calls “distorters” and an excerpt from Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) by Marge Piercy.

Fixed in corporate and state systems more firmly than numeric tax IDs or IP addresses, names are generally no longer treated as language, but as lexically opaque formulas. In their indifference to language diversity, authorities are known to rephrase, reorder, and re-alphabetize names when they don’t fit their administrative standard. They are also known to deny rights to people who have no “name label.”

In the fictive worlds represented in this book, society is not centralized, not oversized, and self-naming is brought forward as a form of self-empowerment and resistance.

First part of Achim Lengerer/Scriptings’ reader series Political Scenarios which aims to publish carefully selected scripts and texts by artists that refer neither to academic forms nor to purely literary forms of writing, but rather embed “text” as a fully integral part of contemporary political and visual art practice.

Nicoline van Harskamp


Nicoline van Harskamp is an Amsterdam based artist whose work considers acts of language and solidarity. Her live works were staged, among other places, at Museum of Contemporary Art Anwerp, Urbane Künste Ruhr (Ruhr Ding 2018), Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Project Art Centre in Dublin, Tate Modern in London, KunstWerke in Berlin, New Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Arnolfini in Bristol, Serralves Foundation in Porto, and the Kaaitheater in Brussels. She has exhibited her video and installation works in art centers, universities, and festivals internationally, see www.vanharskamp.net Her works about “Englishes” and artists is accessible as a massive online open course in www.englishes-mooc.org. Van Harskamp is a professor for performative art at the University of Fine Arts in Münster, Germany.

Hg. Achim Lengerer/Scriptings


Achim Lengerer setzt sich in seiner künstlerischen Praxis mit politischen Wirkungs- und Funktionsweisen von Sprache und Text auseinander. Neben filmischen Tonspuren, Installationen und Publikationen gehören performative Vorträge und Veranstaltungen zu seinen Ausdrucksformen.

Lengerer gründete verschiedene kollaborative Projekte, darunter die freitagsküche in Frankfurt/Main. Seit 2009 betreibt Lengerer den mobilen Ausstellungsraum und Verlag Scriptings.

2017 Teilnahme an der documenta 14 mit der 21-stündige Radioarbeit different time, different place, different pitch (mit Dani Gal) produziert von Savvy Funk und Deutschlandfunk. Promotion an der Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

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