Archived Workshop

Journal of Therolinguistics: Design and Nonhuman Languages

Experimental communication with the Interspecies Library


Saturday, June 15 2024


1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Pay what you wish, $25 Suggested Donation

Max # of Participants:


About Facilitator

Oscar Salguero is an independent researcher, archivist, and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Salguero is the founder of Interspecies Library, the first archive dedicated to artists’ books exploring our relationships with nonhumans. Salguero is the curator of Interspecies Futures at Center for Book Arts (2021) and Decentering Strategies: Books as Portals to More-than-Human Worlds at Pratt Institute (2024).


In 1974, writer Ursula K. Le Guin published a short story introducing a new (fictional) field of research known as therolinguistics or the study of nonhuman languages (from the Greek “thero” for feral).

In this workshop, we will immerse ourselves in the contemporary world of interspecies communication, from both scientific and poetic perspectives. Together we will attempt to visualize the language of other organisms, such as bacteria, trees, insects, or whales, as an act of decentering language and exploring interspecies kinship. 

We will start by reading some excerpts of the original Le Guin story, followed by a presentation on a contemporary manifesto calling for poetic nonhuman language interpretations. The workshop will culminate in the design and development of unique visual journal “entries,” which will become part of a conceptual 2024 edition of the Journal of Therolinguistics.


What's Included

  • Paper
  • Assorted magazines
  • Pens, markers
  • Tape
  • Scissors

What to Bring

  • Open mind
  • Preferred markers (if available)
  • Additional magazine clippings (if available)
  • Sketchbook or notepad (Optional)


Read the original story by Ursula K. Le Guin: The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics (1974). (pdf will be provided)


Though reading the original story by Ursula Le Guin may help in giving some context and food for thought, participants of any age are welcome to join as the results will be purely visual and experimental.


It is the year 2044. You are a therolinguist. You live in New York City.

Choose the species of your study. Species: Bat, Fungi, Pigeon, Honey Bee, Rat 

Introduce unique communication capabilities of each species, as well as unique ways in which its ecosystem in NYC has been affected by the climate crisis and coexistence with humans.

Form 5 groups (each one dedicated to one of the 5 species presented).


Each group should develop a fictional, graphic journal entry to the 2044 edition of the Journal of Therolinguistics.