the work of WIND AIR LAND SEA

Bureau of Linguistical Reality

Private Field Study Salons, June 1–9 with local community organizations

Pop-Up Field Study Office

June 4, 2019

Studio.89, 1065 Canadian Pl #104, Mississauga, ON

Presented in partnership with Green Drinks Mississauga


The Bureau of Linguistical Reality is a public participatory artwork by artists Heidi Quante and Alicia Escott focused on creating new language as a way to better understand global shifts due to human-made climate change and other anthropogenic events. Asking who has the agency to define the changing world around us—and the words we use to talk about it—The Bureau of Linguistical Reality creates a platform for people to identify new feelings, experiences and phenomena for which they do not yet have the language, and then to together coin neologisms to better understand and begin to discuss them. In Mississauga, The Bureau of Linguistical Reality will collaborate with members of various local communities to generate new words to express what people are feeling and experiencing as we grapple with a rapidly changing world.


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The Bureau of Linguistical Reality was established in 2014 by two artists who were at a total loss for words to describe emotions and experiences they were having around climate change and other anthropogenic events. The art piece was inspired by the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (also known as the Sapir-Whorf), which holds that “the structure of a language affects the ways in which its respective speakers conceptualize their world” i.e. that humans’ worldview influences their cognitive processes.

Alicia Escott is an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses issues of species-loss, the process of commercial mediation in late-capitalist society, and individual experiences of loss, heartbreak, and longing in the Anthropocene. Her work connects the speed of change today with the speed of change in the geologic history of the planet.

Heidi Quante is an artist and founder of the non-profit Creative Catalysts, an organization that brings together experts from diverse disciplines to devise innovative ways to raise awareness, inspire dialogue, and spark action on pressing social and environmental issues.