Braden Hansen – Conlang for Gender

Conlang for Gender

Braden Hansen, Conlang for Gender, 2021. Digital Art. 8.5 ” x 13″.

The constructed language should be the ideal battleground for a proper dissection and expansion of gender; what could help more to understand gender than to invent a vocabulary capable of categorizing it on a larger scale? Conlang for Gender, at first, appears to agree with this conclusion. Using a symbol language composed of roman numerals, Conlang for Gender’s simplistic, mathematical approach attempts to clean up and refine the beast of identity, reducing it down into something far more digestible and standardized. Slowly, however, this language begins to break apart, appropriating and interrupting its mathematical structure with foreign symbols, sabotaging its own attempt to make something understandable of the ever-incomprehensible, ultimately resulting in a completely unusable, near-structureless language.

Through this obliteration of structure, Conlang for Gender instead works to reclaim the concept of identity from its current chains, defying existing notions of what should be sterilized and categorized in favor of an open, free, and subjective understanding of the self. Conlang for Gender, then, calls for the “de-language-ification” of gender, the removal of it from societal comprehension, so that it, as well as us, may exist beyond simple categorization and live something far larger, and far more truthful.