Speech Disorder

Textual project

Speech Disorder is an artist’s book generated from an original volume by Foucault. This was unbound and rebound after one simple operation: changing the order of the pages. The result is a book that, on the surface, does not appear to have undergone any alteration; but, to open its pages is to discover a series of surprises that arise from the disordered discourse.

The methodology used to scramble the pages began with a process based exclusively on chance. The pages were shuffled like a deck of cards, tossed like confetti, and then picked up at random or simply left on the floor. In this way, the pages were reorganized through a series of accidents, with the goal that the discourse—however fragmented, entropic, and dissonant—would be readable. To achieve this, some sheets were rotated so that they could be read top to bottom and left to right. In addition, punctuation between pages was respected; for example, a period at the end of one page would be followed by a capital letter on the next page. And, when a word at the end of a page was interrupted by a hyphen, it was placed before a page beginning with a partial word preceded by a hyphen. This generated a total of nine new words, some meaningful and highly evocative: interro-als, com-lesquiera, indi-do, senti-mind, sim-behaviors, fun-bolics, indefinite-tion, cua-vide. No other grammatical rules were heeded, so gender, plurals, and tenses show the illogical continuity of the text.