The Oral Logic

installation view, solo exhibition at Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2019.

Garrulous Guts 2019

dimension variable

two-channel animation, subwoofers, clear gelatin capsules, anti-biotics, anti-estrogen hormone, air ducts, generative algorithmic composition (in collaboration with Jason Doell)

Cmd & Ctrl Chewing Gum 2019

2.5”x 2.5”, limited edition of 30

natural chicle gum base, sugar, dextrose, cane syrup, wafer paper, edible ink


Qi 2019

dimension variable

single-channel video(2’52”)


ERROAR!#4 2019

dimension variable

single-channel video(3’25”), interactive web-based application, laser-engraved mirror, 3D prints, generative poetry on paper scroll, algorithmic composition (in collaboration with Jason Doell)



Deep Aware Triads – orishormonaspina 2019

36” diameter each

giclée print (triptych)


The exhibition is an assemblage of four multimedia installations that expand The Oral Logic thread out of Ye’s extensive research on the poetics and politics of human-machine coupling.

Turning the gaze inward on bodily systems, the installations are conceptualized using the cannibalistic metaphor of “eating and being eaten” to contemplate on our dialectic relationships with technology. We as bio-cultural-technological amalgams have always merged our mental activities with the operations of technologies in a broader sense. For example, writing is a technology we use to make sense of ourselves and the world as it reconfigures our consciousness. Having entered the electronic landscape, we, both consumer and feeder devour and chew, digest and absorb electronic culture in all domains. From eating to speaking, from the molecular to the epistemological, our body and psyche are subject to the cybogian economy where massive networks show affective and cognitive agencies and planetary computation is mobilized by the entangled power of political ideologies, economic imbalance, and cultural disparities. It is in such a context where The Oral Logic attempts to question “to what extent would this symbiosis evolve?”

The four installations interweave the The Oral Logic as if our minds already operate as silicon-carbon intelligence hybrids. At the centre of the space located pumping low-frequency sounds, which activate the sculptural diagrams on the wall and animated digestive system mapped with malleable texts. Machine learning algorithms are employed to produce text, sound and image during artist’s process of collaborating with digital bodies.

The metaphor of cannibalism in Brazilian literature and translation theory offers ways to rethink cultural assimilation in colonial and post-colonial conditions. Borrowing the same idea to think about technological incorporation, Ye blends e-wastes with living organisms and proposes “vomit as a method” to redefine and reclaim human agencies in the hyper-control societies.


“In the centre of the space, the two-channel sound and animation installation, Garrulous Guts (2019), wraps around an entanglement of air ducts. The work’s audio was created through a collection of sound footage from online searches for “people vomiting” and speech clips generated by WaveNet, a feedforward neural network for generating advanced Text-to-Speech results. While the speech was trained in English, that was not what was heard emanating from the installation. Ye created new speech that were, quasi-English, which were then interpreted into sounds that didn’t make sense to English-speaking viewers or would even register as a recognized human-based language, potentially creating a new human-machine hybrid language. Despite its mechanical and cryptic tone, the soundtrack held some familiarity in structure and pace for my auditory sense to digest as dialect.”

— Emily Fitzpatrick, “Review: Xuan Ye – The Oral Logic” (Peripheral Review, 2020)

“Through intentional collaboration with machines, Ye recoups agency. A low-frequency crackling permeated the small room of “The Oral Logic,” part of a generative music score like ASMR but in a register of minor terror. The score popped and rumbled from two subwoofers, one upturned to hold empty and half-filled clear pill capsules in its speaker. Corrugated air ducts twisted around this installation — collectively titled Garrulous Guts (2019) — as physical stand-ins for its eponymous organs. An accompanying projection animated intestines in cyber blue and dusky pink, mapped with texts from translation theory, which wormed their outsides and innards through the viewer’s gaze.”

— Joy Xiang, “Review: Xuan Ye – The Oral Logic” (Canadian Art, 2020)