Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hyperlanguage

Originally a recording commissioned to thematically relate to the PROBE CD released by VIVO of Poland (www.vivo.pl) in April 2004. After being approached by Ben Green to record a new work for Resonance FM, we decided to construct a piece which would compliment these recently released recordings, and further elaborate on some of the themes set down in the sleeve notes for PROBE. PROBE examines the notion of an impending new species of Posthuman beings.

These bio-technological entities from our deep future, will bear only the merest trace of their human origins, and will no doubt greatly exceed what we currently understand to be the limits of human performance and intelligence. Far from being a sci-fi fantasists' dream of transcendence, these theories hint at a very real possibility for the future of mankind.
Given that language appears to evolve alongside the great leaps of human cognition and intuition, how might the language of these Posthumans be constructed? What will language become? Language is both a system of communication and an information processing tool. The roots of human language appear to have emerged during a period of information overload. The existing communicative methods of primitive "proto-languages", a series of semi-coherent vocalisations, social/emotional interaction, and pre-verbal physical gesture used by early Man were "overwritten" in response to an overload, or chaos that arises when the informatic capacity of this previous set of languages could no longer cope, or had reached a new level of complexity. Given that hominids continually acquired new skills, for example- tool making; their lives increased in complexity. The early hominid mind could no longer cope with the richness of it's life solely on the basis of its perceptual continuum, and language began to take a whole new evolutionary leap. In relation to the human brain, evolution on a biological level has reached its peak ( the head of an infant could only become so big in order to pass through the hips of its mother, and to retain the capacity for mobility – a vital factor for survival) , and after all of the physical mechanisms for increasing intelligence are exhausted, nature has conspired to increase human intelligence by using a technological, rather than biological strategem. We are currently poised on the brink of ever more rapid transitions in technology, and our interaction with it. The human communications landscape is incrementally increasing in volume, speed and capacity, as we strive to reach out into the Universe, and connect with each other in more complex, accelerated ways. To an extent, for the first time, it is We who are being transformed by our technology, and not vice-versa. As we speak, successive generations of young children are being thrust into the fast lane of cutting edge communications technology by their rapid (and somewhat remote) interactions with mobile phones (and the new accelerated language of "texting"). The mass usage of Computer games, and Personal Computers (particularly the World Wide Web), have led to the common utilisation of ever more complex and abbreviated terminologies. The internet in particular is a breeding ground for new language, as knowledge and ideas are transmitted globally at high speed. The Net has its own unique semantics, particularly, hypertext and hyperlinks, which we see as the foundation of a HYPERLANGUAGE – a revolutionary new spoken (if such a term will exist) mode of communication for the deep future. The recording project – HYPERLANGUAGE, is an artistic speculation - an analysis of our potential relationship with highly advanced communications technology in the deep future. Given that tool-making generated a major shift in thinking that led to the foundations of spoken language – it should come as no great surprise that new technologies and cognitive structures (the evolution of the mind), should seed the development of a new kind of universal language – a non- verbal HYPERLANGUAGE that is communicated at vast speed and capacity through rapid transmission systems that will greatly exceed anything we could possibly imagine at present. What we present here is an imaginary switch point at some futuristic information exchange, inhabited by fragments of human vocalisations, hybrids of what we currently understand as language, fused with digital information, and all of the inherent noise that accumulates in an overloaded system. The evolution of a new form of language, its trajectories and impact from a psychological, developmental, emotional, and educational perspective are deeply interesting to us.

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