You speak my language

Tom Sherman

2011, 20:00 minutes, colour, English


You speak my language is a video essay on communication, code and percussive rhythmic structures. Off the top of this video essay, a former marine radio operator, literally speaks in Morse code, explaining the protocols of the radiotelephony of international shipping in the 20th century. This lesson in how percussive letter-by-letter code once ruled the airwaves gives way to a cascade of short, sensory-rich audio-visual messages. Content shifts radically from segment to segment as tropes such as country music video slam into passages of bird and insect communication. A drag strip is highlighted as a sonic playground for powerful noise duets. A musician’s keyboard rifts are compared with a woodsman’s chainsaw solo and a turntablist’s vinyl scratching is superimposed on the visual frenzy of a disturbed red ant colony. You speak my language is a space to think about how we communicate and how we and other species code and compress and devour rhythms and patterns and signals and noise.

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