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No Choice About the Terminology

The phrase “you’ve got no choice about the terminology” comes from an article in the New York Times describing an old-school ice cream parlor manager who insisted that things be called by their proper names. ‘A a scoop of ice-cream with topping on it is a sundae.’ Coming from a household in which ice-cream was taken very seriously indeed, and often struggling with what terminology to use to describe my ethnicity (Cherokee, Hawaiian, Samoan, raised in northern California rural mountain redneck culture), and my profession (artist? poet? software developer? educator? designer?), and recognizing both the danger and seduction of neat categorizations, the line inspired a series of text playing with categories, definitions and the idea that, though we might have some choice about our terminology, we have no choice about our ontology.

No Choice About the Terminology was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE Festival for the Vital to the General Public Welfare exhibition.

The exhibition version of You’ve Got No Choice About the Terminology employs a 42” two-point touch surface + a 60" x 60" digital print text-image.

Print: The exhibition version includes Planetary Gear, a 56" x 56" digital print text-image made with Mr. Softie.

The mobile version is called Choice.
You can download it for free from the App Store here.

Choice is currently at version 1.

Source Code

iOS: No Choice About the Terminology - iOS
java: No Choice About the Terminology - java

Year: 2011


Text: Custom text
Font: PF BeauSans Pro Black
Exhibition: Custom Java for Windows
App: Custom Objective-C for iOS
Planetary Gear: 60” x 60” digital print made with Mr. Softie.