Bureau of Linguistical Reality

June 1-9, 2019

Presented as part of The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea.

Bureau of Linguistical Reality, 2019.

Bureau of Linguistical Reality

June 1-9, 2019
Private Field Study Salons with local community organizations

June 4, 2019
Pop-Up Field Study Office, presented in partnership with Green Drinks Mississauga
Studio.89, 1065 Canadian PI #104, Mississauga.

Events are FREE and open to the public. All are welcome.

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.


Presented as part of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge public programming series, part of The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea.


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.


The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is presented by the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga in partnership with the City of Mississauga.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded in part through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.


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