Geoluread & Genie

Phillips, Laura
Laura Phillips’ interests lie in obsolescence and precariousness, which she uses as devices to explore the relationships between language, culture and cognition. Geoluread & Genie (2017) is a digital animation, created from hand-processed 16mm film. In the artwork title, Phillips refers to the earliest usage of ‘orange’ as a word in English. Before the English-speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the colour was referred to as yellow-red or ‘geoluread’ in Old English. The work itself features three hovering orbs, which become filled with flashes of colour and fragmented text. Four words appear: Orange, Mother, Go and Blue. These reportedly formed the limited vocabulary of Genie Wiley, the American ‘feral child’ who was taken into custody in 1970 following severe neglect and social isolation. Phonetic utterances provide the soundtrack to the work. These are drawn from Láadan, a feminist constructed language created in 1982 by Suzette Haden Elgin in her science fiction book Native Tongue. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter the limitations imposed on women by male-centred language.
  • Artwork Details: running time: 4 minutes
  • Edition: 1 of 5 + 2 AP
  • Material description: HD animation & 16mm transferred to digital, stereo sound
  • Credit line: © the artist. Image courtesy of the artist.
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC10/2017



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