driftongue derives from our experience participating to Hors Pistes designers’ research & production residency in Nuuk, Greenland, in collaboration with local craftsmen.
The impetus behind it has been our fascination with the peculiarity of Greenlandic communication patterns relying on orality, gestures, performativity and transmission. For Inuit, writing or drawing never was a necessity as organically stones, animals, natural elements and climate bore signs of language. The tension induced by the enduring Danish domination with no clear space for Greenlandic independence further triggered our interest. In our publication, we embrace the particular relation to reality/fiction that results, reflecting feelings of alienation, economy of words, visceral trust in nature, emptiness and silence.
Inspired by Cornelius Cardew’s The Tiger’s Mind and dramatis personæ at large, driftongue is thought of as a score or theatre stage where different voices navigate between their own space and a collective one. Multi-layered nonlinear editorial object rather than book, driftongue is a set mixing bound and unbound supports (cast list, booklets with inserts, leporello, folded poster, prints, record, video, links to website) printed on different types/sizes/shapes of paper. Spanning several media, the publication explores inhabitants’ ordinary stories, communication in transcultural collaborations and alterations induced to objects’ materiality through production processes. Intricate narratives stand along sketches and poetic prose, while readers can manipulate and activate some elements –making the experience unique. As a corollary, driftongue is conceived as a modular expandable object aiming to spread into space, particularly in exhibition and performance contexts.
Specific editorial choices (confrontation, displacement, addition and hierarchy of materials, ellipsis, play on hiding/revealing) reveal the junction between aesthetic practices, design, everyday life and political thinking.