top of page

OTHERTONGUE is a new language/slang created by Liam Herne in collaboration with friends, colleagues, creatives, people online and the general public.  This is an ongoing project for the artist.


The steps taken in order to create OTHERTONGUE were as follows:


  •  People online were asked to give the artist their favourite words.  The artist picked the first 150 words he was given to be used in the project.

  • These words were placed in a box and used in the artist’s interactive artwork at the House Conspiracy Launch Party on the 3rd February 2017.  Participants were asked to take a word from the box at random and paint/draw a picture or symbol to represent that word.  These were then displayed on the wall of the artists’ studio.

  • These images were then collated and 100 of them were selected for the next part of the project. A part of each selected picture was copied or simplified and these were made into 100 symbols.

  • The artist took these symbols and showed them to passers-by on the streets of Brisbane as well as people he knew. These people were asked to look at one of the symbols and say the first word that it reminded them of. The artist recorded these words. There were 300 words in total- 3 for each symbol.  

  • These words were then put into an online word mixer which created 100 imagined words.

  • These imagined words were given to people known to the artist and he asked them to create a definition for these words.

  • The symbol, imagined words and definitions were then combined to create a new language called OTHERTONGUE.



The artist would like to thank all collaborators who took part in this project. Your time, imagination and creativity have made this all possible.  Below are the symbols and definitions of OTHERTONGUE.  For other information or more images of the project please see Documentation.

bottom of page