The Swarm: Language as a Fiction

  • Michael Salu
An creative and critical essay using natures swarming species as an entry point to discussing both the refractions of lnaguage and who actually owns language particularly in its current technological acceleration. Published by American literary magazine Entropy
The piece also features a still from a new digital series I'm creating of the same name. Its a series thinking about the tense relationship between technology and nature (and also language).
Below is a sample, click here to read the full text:

"New nests are formed by new swarms and an inequality grows exponentially, but not necessarily the inequality we know as the narrative of poverty thrust at us, but an inequality of knowledge and understanding about how these new worlds are built. As new platforms are laid out benevolently for us to discuss and explore, new languages are formed unwittingly in real time. The structure of these new nests or rather these new cities, are amorphous in their form but are dynamic, utilizing and manipulating the space of language around us; we find ourselves caught up in the movement of these new swarms, as opposed to being at the helm of one’s own destiny. Thus, ‘The Singularity’ could also be witnessed as a swarm, a congealing of thought, myth, story, fable and feeling. Increasingly, this dynamic swarm carries us off with its power, mixing and swirling the stories upon which we were raised, the images we consumed, the films we absorb, funneling every experience through the same narrow pathway that leads us into a circular vortex around this newly demarcated city. It then becomes increasingly difficult to disentangle ourselves from the forces of this dynamic swarm, given that we are nowhere near its own organic destiny and purpose and have become rudderless to an extent. It is difficult to stem the erasure that occurs so swiftly — an erasure of language, of experience and of histories — and difficult to combat when the hierarchies of every language culture and experience have plateaued. The Singularity can be seen occurring to us as a mono existence, or a mono experience, rather, in which this alien swarm determines what stories we ourselves are able to tell. This new autonomous swarm sprung out with technological force from a broad secular consumption and from our inhabitation of a congealed monoculture. There is a kind of inevitability to a singular experience arising when the new environments for us to share our languages have become the most dominant export of American exceptionalism."


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