*leikw – Elegant, Inheritance, Election (phonetic connotations series)
“*leikw – “ is a combination of videos of the artist’s mouth reproducing phonemes and the many paths of alliteration. These videos are mere simulations of the trajectory that phonetics take over time through de/re-contextualization due to human migration. For example, in ‘Elegant’ the artist starts incessantly repeating the PIE (Proto-Indo-European) word “*leikw – “, the repetitions quickly morph into “eleg-“ which transform into the Latin eligere, subcequently transmutting it into “elegans – elegantis” and finally the modern English word elegant. “*leikw – “ is the proto-indo-european word for inheritance which is phonologically closely related to the Latin root eleg-, meaning choice. In this case phonologically related means that the most distinctive sounds are the liquid alveolar sound ‘l’ followed by a velar stop “kw” or “g”. The piece then brings attention to the notion in comparative linguistics that sounds that use the same oral muscles or cavities are often interchangeable. These modifications happen due to cultural influences, migrations, linguistic assimilations (i.e. oral translations), and finally genetic mutation. “*leikw – “ is an attempt to cleanly illustrate the process used to identify key sound forms in modern language in order to develop the notion that the units of sounds that serve as building blocks to the words we use today have pre-determined meaning constructed through a long history. The central purpose of this exercise is the development of a new representation model for language and concepts.
Now you may wonder, what is the connection between 'inheritance' and the adjective 'elegant'? In answer that question we must try to transpose ourselves into the environment where the Proto-Indo-European sounds originated. The experience is purely conceptual by nature however it does yield to a rather clarifying observation: Inheritance comes with privilege which in turn produces the luxury of choice. In an abundance of choice there's a game or protocol that is cultural by its conception. The ability to understand this game and work it, making the 'right' choices then becomes a marker of elegance.
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