the word changer
carved plaster block 


Conflict is borne out of misunderstanding, and often this is linked to our infinitely differing uses and understandings of language. One of our most powerful tools in being able to know, love and see our unquestionable connections as living beings is verbal and written communication. This also happens to be one of the most varying and easily misunderstood forms of articulation and expression.

The word changer is a tool meant to transform conflict into possibility, empathy and fruitful relationship. It is a spiritual conduit, a shift in perspective, a seeing from two sides. Drawing its physicality from our most ancient human forms of written communication (the cuneiform tablet), the word changer presents itself as an opaque stone tablet. Theoretically it draws from the logic of the regulatory feedback loop or the logic of a very simple system. There is an input, (the conflicting parties), and an output, (the best possible solutions based on the input). This tool serves not to replace the very necessary and transformative human experience of entering and resolving conflict with one another. It exists rather to amplify and make clear our intentions and histories to make this moment of disagreement with one another transformative instead of static, unchanging or regressive.

Upon placing one's hands upon this stone tool, both conflicting parties' personal and ancestral histories are considered, their dispute, their world-view, true intention whether malicious or kindhearted and their current emotional state are all accounted for. The changer is able to reach far deeper within us than we can see, and synthesize our similarities to present all overlaps in judgement, perspective and history. These histories are carved into stone for all to see. It is in this overlap however that the beginnings of a solution(s) present themselves and it is then the responsibility of those in dispute to finish the work of understanding each other.

Presented as part of Hand Tools of Resillience.