NEOLOG 2021.0: new words for a new year

still from Neolog

Watch on Vimeo

gaslighght

haranguish

antivoxpopuli

farmine

winterred

sunderland

isonation

simulus

plutocrack

infestive

corporulation

dishoarder

whitewish

epiphan’t

quarantinder

chutzprat

sworm

immoanity

inocubus

virall

Notes

The original plan was for Luisa and me to collaborate on a linked-verse videopoem, but around Christmas the word “infestive” came to me, and I thought maybe it would be fun to do one-word poems after the style of Aram Saroyan, famous for “lighght” among other micropoetic masterpieces. I messaged Luisa, and as soon as she ingested some more caffeine we were off to the races. The footage is mostly my own, gathered over the past three years. A few clips have appeared in other things I’ve made, and a few were shot intentionally for this project, including a car-window glimpse of cotton fields that Luisa shot. I found the soundtrack once again at the fabulous online community of musicians and remixers at ccMixter.org.

The selection of words we used represents about a third of what we came up with in the course of an hour. We tried to avoid bathos as best we could, with the Urban Dictionary to keep us on the straight and narrow: several of our most obvious ideas had already been coined! Nevertheless, we wanted to include a mix of more and less obvious neologisms, since (unlike Saroyan) we’re not necessarily just about art for art’s sake here — we also wanted something accessible enough to serve as a sort of weird holiday greeting card for Via Negativa readers.

So thank you for visiting Via Negativa in 2020, and thanks especially to those who share our links on social media or pick up a subscription. (We don’t make any money off this, it just make us feel good to know that some people like our content enough to commit to reading it every day… or at least as often as our slightly buggy set-up manages to generate new emails.) Best wishes for a Happy or at least Less Intolerable New Year to all.