universal tongue


Universal Tongue is a megalomaniac research based project about dance over the internet that consist out of mega complete website that tells you all about the project and an 8 channel video installation and a book. The video installation is acquired by Museum Folkwang in Essen and Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar.

Universal Tongue is a project about the internet as an anthropological space, artistically delving into (so many) ways of lively embrace life online through dance as a universal form of cultural expression. The artwork and research database embody the way we fluently interact with the internet, are part of its ever growing kaleidoscopic representation of our global media society, and evolve with it as excited participants.

In collaboration with a team of 50 researchers from across the globe assembled through social media, we collected over 8,800 dance videos sourced from the Internet. The total length of the found footage was more than 250 hours. After the raw cut, there were still 80 hours left. Together with a team of editors, I spliced the selected footage, containing a minimum of 1000 different dance styles from all over the world, into a video installation consisting of 8 channels showing 8 films lasting 4 hours each – in total 32 hours of footage. The 8 channel video installation is accompanied by one 4 hour soundtrack, which is composed and remixed from the music subtracted from the originally found videos.

Universal Tongue was born from my fascination with dance videos distributed online as a representation of self-expression, cultural identity, empowerment and fun. Dance shows the human family in the constant interconnectedness of experience – unity in diversity. This work explores how dance has developed throughout history as part of our global media culture and it nowadays manifests online across platforms like YouTube and Instagram. And dance we will. We do so solo, in style, with a webcam, or as devoted representatives of our social life, our social circles, our peers. Universal Tongue shows us in our natural habitat, online and offline, living in our time of endless connectivity and mutual recognition of individuality as a human achievement and joy. And this serves as an introspective tool, through the internet we see ourselves as part of a whole world of contemporaries, our fellow digital denizens in full playful vigor.



19.03.2022–22.05.2022 part of Biennale Fotografie, Mannheim, Germany
13.08.2021–14.11.2021 group exhibition Global Groove, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
12.08.2021–22.08.2021 part of Noorderzon, Groningen, The Netherlands
03.07.2021–29.08.2021 part of FFN, Naarden, The Netherlands
03.06.2021–06.06.2021 part of STRP Festival, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
27.01.2021–02.05.2021 solo exhibition at Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Gent, Belgium
10.11.2020–20.11.2020 part of Manifesta 13 Le Ballet National Marseille (BNM), France
17.10.2018–26.10.2018 part of Medialab, part of Cinekid Festival Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Please check Press on the Universal Tongue website.