Janks Archive: The Eternal Insult


Ben Kinsley

Година на раждане


Място на раждане

Columbus, Ohio

Година на създаване


Информация за медията(техниката)

Two-channel video installation and public engagement



Повече информация



25. Габровско Биенале на хумора и сатирата в изкуството

Кратко описание

Janks Archive is a collective research project, founded in 2012 by Jerstin Crosby, Ben Kinsley, and Jessica Langley, which investigates traditions of insult humor in cultures from around the world. This multifaceted study documents this tradition through field recording, and presents the collection through an online archive, public events, exhibitions, publications, and a podcast. Since 2012 they have travelled to 16 cities in 9 countries, talking to residents, and learning about local variations of this type of humor. Insults are an ancient oral tradition embedded within the collective consciousness of a culture or region with inherent ties to human social evolution. While the intention appears, at first, to be antagonistic, “janks” are in fact an integral aspect of human interaction, used as much to establish dominance as to strengthen camaraderie. The word “Janks,” for example, is a colloquial term from Southern Alabama which refers to an insulting joke that one person says directly to another person. “Playing the Dozens”, “Signifyin”, “snaps”, “burns”, and “rippins” are other names for similar American traditions of verbal dueling. In Northern Ireland you “slag someone off,” in Mexico “Albures” is a verbal game of double entendre, in Italy, “Stornelli” is form of insulting folk poetry, in Finland you might “throw slander” (Heittää Herjaa), in Latvia it’s “Uzbrauciens,” and the list goes on. For the 25th Gabrovo Biennial of Humor and Satire in Art we propose to exhibit our two-channel video installation “The Eternal Insult" (2014-present). This installation selects videos at random from our global archive and plays them on opposing screens. The result places the viewer in the center of an endless verbal duel and references traditions like the Dozens (USA) and the Albur (Mexico). As opposed to a traditional video with a set beginning and end, in this installation, once each scene has played, the order is reshuffled and played again. The relationship between joke teller and receiver is thus constantly in


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