UNIVERSAL TONGUE

UNIVERSAL TONGUE
Moving Image
ANOUK KRUITHOF
UNIVERSAL TONGUE has a website that gives a more universal idea of all the layers of the work: https://www.universaltongue.com/ Universal Tongue is a project about the Internet as an anthropological space, artistically delving into ways of embracing life online through dance as a universal form of cultural expression. I am fascinated by these dance-videos as forms of self-expression and empowerment, which are now available everywhere through the Internet. I researched how dance has developed as part of our media culture globally throughout history and manifested it online and repurposed found footage to find an interwoven common ground as a shared visual language. Over 8800 dance-videos were collected from Youtube and Instagram with a team of 50 researchers located all over the world. Each researcher received a symbolic fee of 1 euro per delivered video. The total length of all this found video material was 250 hours. The final video installation consists of 8 channels (dimensions variable) with 8 films that have duration of 4 hours each. A dance-conclave through the jungle of the internet, Universal Tongue shows 32 hours of completely mixed mesmerizing video presenting 1000 dance-styles from all over the world! And dance we will. We do so solo, in style, with a webcam, or as devoted representatives of our social circles, our peers. Universal Tongue shows us in our natural habitat, online and offline, living in our time of endless connectivity. This multi-channel video installation offers an opportunity to reflect on the various ways dance is in fact a universal language of sorts, defined and deployed by various subcultures, virally distributed across nations, cultural boundaries and continents.