an ongoing art project in synthetic language
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The Perplex is an experiment in quasi-linguistic formalism, in gibberish. Borrowing, inverting, and misunderstanding techniques from computer science, analytic linguistics, it blindly strives to produce the outer appearance of language--to be all form and no content. The Perplex produces synthetic languages, or at least their syntactic forms, by writing letters to you. The production of the text and the production of a given language are interdependent.

Like most of my work, this is a serious joke. A lonely robot, desperately seeking to communicate in an unending series of idiolects. Or, a play on the abstract aesthetics of non-representational painting for a conceptual artist. And, like most of my work, it is a point in a plot, or a member of a set--these examples are not the first, nor will they be the last iterations of the attempt to make excellent gibberish.

The Letters are here.

I'd like to thank Helen Thorington and Jo-Anne Green of, and the NEA for helping to make this project possible, not to mention the inspiration and guidance provided by Andrew McNay, and Andrew Wilson, among many others.