boundary language

the metalepsis project


… began with a Vernon T. Shogren Foundation grant to develop an interdisciplinary notation system based on the calculus of George Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form. The project was exanded thanks to support from SUNY Buffalo,  Penn, Penn State, Carleton, Virginia Tech's Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, and  LSU.

vico + lacan


Boundary language reads the New Science of Giambattista Vico from within the Freudian-Lacanian field. A  graphic calculus defines "sites of exception"  that  resist ideology through topology. Combining the experimental attitude of psychoanalysis with the ethnographic revisionism of Vico provides a "philosophical-philological" approach to subjectivity.



…teach a graphic notational system extending critical theory through experimentation with film, visual arts, architecture, literature, and popular culture. Participants experiment with their own research interests to set up provocative conditions where outcomes can be decisive and personally revolutionary.

links to resources


Essays, demonstrations, workshops, seminars, and lectures have generated a library of web-based resources for all occasions — to provoke the risk-taking position of the "idiot" (private person) caught in End Times. The collection includes essays, one-page speculations, and publication reprints. 

Giulio Camillo memory theater was in fact a zairja to construct "kenosis"

The famous "theater of memory" of Giulio Camillo (1550) may have involved the idea of the "zairja," a combinatorial computer perfected by Arab and other mystics in the 11c. Boundary language's contribution to the mystery of the theater's actual design goes back to the story of Simonides as a shamanistic tale of Eros, death, and the chiasmus of recollection.

boundary language archive
Texts, essays, and exercises support self-study using a graphic calculus to conduct projective, speculative experiments. Concepts span mutliple fields of knowledge — critical theory, architecture, the visual arts, film, etc.. The result, a "boundary language" notation system derived from George Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form, has aimed to free research from ideological mandates and allow a return of a true ars topica from within the question of radical subjectivity. The aim of this system is an "unlimited semiosis" based on experiment, openness, and intervention. While the initial aim is to open the mind of the individual, scholarly discovery is often an unintended by-product. Boundary language aims to detach itself from aims of mastery, becoming in essence, an "idiotic methodology."
workshop: from symptom to sinthome
The Metalepsis Workshop takes Gérard Genette’s concepts of diegesis and mimesis into the Lacanian–Freudian subject, informed by Vico's project of an "ideal eternal history" grounded in the idea of metalepsis. The workshop teaches a shorthand notation based on the frame, and an activation device based on the ancient zairja, the astrological–combinatorial “computer” intended to clarify by stochastic cross-revisions of original conceptions — i.e. the acousmatic "voice and nothing more" of Mladen Dolar. In Lacan, the idea of the extimate pinpoints the role of Truth through the four mathemes of discourse. The inside frame, as the gap between the alternate positions of reversed predication, return materialism to the two function of automaton, as chance and fate.
Vico frontispiece demonstrates chirality, super-symmetry, and body loading

The boundary language project and metalepsis workshops derive from a hybridization of the "clinical" backdrop of Freudian-Lacanian theory with the 18c. Neapolitan philosopher of culture, Giambattista Vico. With a merger undertaken at an agebraic level, an entirely original graphical calculus has emerged to support an experimental basis for doing critical theory.