Literature and art

Liberated from Signoclasm

The performance art Liberated from Signoclasm was performed by Jolanta Lapiak at Interakcje 2007 (International Performance Art Festival) at Galeria OFF in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland on 11 May 2007.

Lapiak articulated in American Sign Language (ASL) in front of the audience of various backgrounds and cultures (thus different languages). Despite that none in the audience knew a signed language, this performance visually presented a powerful voice. The performance reflected a history of phonocentrism and signoclasm (coined by the artist). Like iconoclasm, signoclasm is referred to the prohibition of using sign language through coercion or oppression.

Interakcje in ASL

"Selected words were torn out of the yellowish pages of an old dictionary and they were individually crumbled. The crumbled pages were pushed into my mouth in reference to the historical coercion of orality against manually speaking (or sign language). My body's rejection then purged them out of my mouth. The crumbles then were burnt for freedom."

Interakcje in ASL performance

Interakcje in ASL performance


© photographs and statement by Jolanta Lapiak at

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Expressing needs and wants

  1. Making commands or requests

Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.