The Other

The first language was born between two reflections. One, on the surface of an underground lake, and the other, on the wet, low-lying roof of a cave. Leaning over, we glimpsed ourselves reflected between two poor mirrors, each surface carrying a separate image, each image copying the other. We began to wonder which image came first. The first language was a private, autonomous language, and unitelligible; it divided one from the other.

New languages are born between reflections, too. When twins leave the womb they can form private, autonomous, unintelligible ways of communicating with each other. This cryptophasia is a language only for two. It is the secret language of Poto and Cabengo: "Pinit, putahtraletungay, Nis, Poto? Liba Cabingoat, it, la moa, Poto?" The twins travel in a semiotic orbit, like two balls shot from Antonio Petrini's double-barelled canon in Italy in 1642. Linked by a strong chain, the balls are expelled from the barrels with gunpowder, one ball eratically spinning around the other, producing "grandissima ruina" until "the chain breaks, and the two balls go in different directions," said a man who was watching. Linked together, they define and limit the other's movements as they travel through the air, orbiting each other on a journey of patterns and erratic symbols. 

In Estonia, far from the reflecting cave, the canon and erratic symbols, Eve Uljas is making garments at the 'Uljas and Daughters' factory beside lake Ulëmiste in the city of Tallin. She is making a garment with Italian Merino wool using a knitting machine. Each movement she makes, each activation, each threading and each cut, is repeated by a second maker, making a second garment to echo the first. When we see this second garment, we realise it is impossible to tell which one came first. And, when they are expelled from the knitting machines, we watch the twin garments rise up and begin to orbit each other in the air, slowly manifesting a private, autonomous, unintelligible language. 
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