As an artist-researcher-educator, I am exploring whether a word's sensory qualities (i.e visuals when seen on a page, non-verbal sounds when heard in speech) can be regarded as parts of meaning making, in a non-linear manner, alongside the word’s semantic connotations (or knot)?

If yes so, what are the pedagogical, social and poetical potentials in this?

I try to apply this speculative language practice

to contexts where current vocabulary and modes of communication feel limited and limiting. And I have been finding that this helps to bring people together, allow for more varied and inclusive expressions, and also ease connecting with one another, especially in our currently very virtual lives.

Some recent examples I tried this out have been: Coming up with online ice-breaker poll activities during our union's open meetings after reflecting

on the particular loss of sense of time during

lockdowns and problematic employment models; When texting with a friend about who/how I am? and making a knot video about it, or even creating this website...

I like working with difficult topics (especially when they are elephants in the room) and feelings (when they are all a bit wriggly and not straight-forward), anxieties and discomfort. I put them in a knot (literally,visually,sonically) and acknowledge them through bending of the language at hand. Making them public/ putting them in the open, in usually playful ways, I believe is a form of consciousness raising.

Language is alive/its own thing, but it is also apply-able and the series "to be or knot to be" hopes to give some of these topics and feelings new lives, make the always present, but not present-ed feelings/senses/experiences visible, including those inherent in language.