Jonathan Stalling’s Interlanguage Art

Jonathan Stalling; Chen Wang, Editor and Director of Design

ISBN : 978-988-74707-5-5

Film, Media, Fine Arts Distributed for HKU Museum and Art Gallery 香港大學美術博物館

December 2021

220 pages, 8.5″ x 10.875″

  • HK$350.00

Jonathan Stalling’s experimental approach to bridging art, poetics, and linguistics imagines a world where individual value systems are no longer translated into the language of other mediums, but foster conscious “interlanguages.” Stalling writes, “Meeting in the middle, ‘interlanguages’ are spaces where one learns a new language without having left one’s home fully behind; these situations can result in richly generative interlingual and intercultural estuaries which provide new ways of imagining.” Stalling’s conceptual language art fuses Classical Chinese poetics and linguistics with modern algorithms to create art installations and poetry that transform Chinese into English and English into Chinese in new and surprising ways.

With a visual gallery of Stalling’s work, an interview with the artist, a critical introduction by the editor, and critical chapters written by the comparative literature scholar Timothy Billings and Chinese Linguist Liu Nian, the volume provides readers with a significant introduction to a wide range of Stalling’s interlanguage work spanning the past two decades. The volume runs from the late 1990s English Jueju project to his most recent work Song Dynasty English, a series of movable wood-type printing presses and prints, to Pinying, a series of digital interlanguage learning environments and platforms. Challenging powerful dichotomies like East/West, Chinese/English, Modern/Ancient, and Art/Technology, Stalling’s work opens up new ways of hearing, speaking, and performing cultural ways of knowing through English and Chinese. Chen Wang argues that Stalling’s interlanguage not only opens a space between languages, but may well mark the beginning of an interlanguage domain between humans and machines.

Jonathan Stalling is the Harold J. & Ruth Newman Chair of US-China Studies and professor of international and area studies at the University of Oklahoma, where he directs The Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, The Newman Prize for English Jueju, and the US-China Poetry Dialogue. He is also the founder of the Chinese Literature Translation Archive and editor-in-chief of Chinese Literature Today and Contemporary Chinese Thought (both Routledge journals), and the CLT book series (University of Oklahoma Press). Dr. Stalling specializes in Comparative US-China Poetics, Literature, and Cultural Studies, as well as Chinese-English translation and interlanguage studies. He is the author or co-editor of eight books: Poetics of Emptiness (Fordham), Grotto Heaven (Chax), Yinggelishi: Sinophonic Poetry and Poetics (Counterpath) and Lost Wax: Translation through the Void, and he is the co-editor of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry (Fordham), By The River: Contemporary Chinese Novellas (Oklahoma) and Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers (Cambria). He is also the translator of Winter Sun: Poety of Shi Zhi (1966–2005), which was a finalist for the National Translation Award. Stalling’s interlanguage work was the subject of two TEDx Talks (TEDx Talk #1 and TEDx Talk #2) and exhibitions at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Stanford University.

Chen Wang is professor of graphic and interactive design at California State University Fullerton. Wang’s research involves branding, publication, user experience, data visualization, interface and interaction design. His work has received numerous national and international design awards.