Untitled #1 (Origins of turn taking) from Nina Ross on Vimeo.


Untitled # 1 (origins of turn taking), 2015, HD video, 2 minutes and 43 seconds, looped, sound.

Untitled # 1 (origins of turn taking), 2015 is a response to linguist David Crystal’s ideas on the origins of turn-taking in conversation to investigate how humans are socialised through learning a language whether foreign, patriarchal or mother tongue. The video draws on my experiences using and sharing language during pregnancy and with my newborn child. If I spoke or ate while breastfeeding, my son would pull off the breast, as if I was interrupting him. The initial idea for this video was conceived while watching educational videos on a TV monitor in the Royal Women’s Hospital appointment waiting room.

Employing self-portraiture performance video, this work seeks to investigate the authority of language at the beginning of an infant’s life and how one learns to communicate through interactions with others before any words are spoken. Particular influence in this process and to the work itself includes researching and experiencing the origins of turn taking in language with my infant son.


Big thank you to artist Esther van Doornum for her fabulous voice over work.

This video would not be possible without the generous support of Creative Victoria.