visualetymology is a long term project that I began in 2006. The work consists of digital photography, and exists as prints and books. I started this work in reaction to the phrase ‘art is a language’. After coming to the conclusion that this phrase is not only wrong but does art a disservice, I began to make an etymology of art, as if to prove the thesis incorrect. Art cannot be a language because language would not exist were it not for the rules and standards that it is ordered by. Art habitually reneges such bracketing in favor of a total reinvention in terms of form, style, content and media. There are no aspects of art that can be said to be reflective of a language, unless one is attempting to explain art (not always a good idea) through the use of narrative art. This work is made in the knowledge that the work cannot achieve its aim, and that to all intents and purposes, the notion of an etymologically driven art, one that distills gesture into audible sound, metaphorizes the transcription necessary to believe in the statement that begot the project. Its very name is a contradiction in terms.