:// work in NETescopio:

On Translation
Online project.
Antoni Muntadas

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New meanings - in this case generated in an undesirable way - are the result of translation processes. For the translator, the huge differences between the structures of different languages pose a problem which is magnified by the constant apparition of new languages: the computer languages of each new device, the languages of new urban or cyberurban tribes, the languages of fiction, transhuman languages used to communicate with other species, or those designed for the communication between machines of different "species". Moreover, these languages are growing at a rate much faster than the rate of extinction of old languages.
Antoni Muntadas deals with this issue in his work On Translation: The Internet Project, which forms part of the On Translation series that began in 1994. This project, which was a co-production with äda' web, Documenta X and the Goethe Institute, was based on a deconstructed "Chinese whispers" game, in which a phrase is transmitted by means of a chain of people with the resulting changes in meaning. The phrase "Communication systems provide the possibility of developing a better understanding between people: but in which language?" was translated by a chain of translators into 23 different languages. The results can be seen in the form of a metaphor in the image of a descending spiral in which the original phrase slides into the abyss. This process not only involved the translation of human languages (English, German, Russian, Korean, Swahili, Japanese, or Spanish); the work carried out by the translators was also affected by the technological transcodification implied by the differences between them: different operating systems, character mapping, keyboards, and so on. Nevertheless, in the end we can see that parallel to this loss of meaning there is a replacement of meaning carried out by each reader/translator. The linear original meaning is converted into a rhyzomatic, fertile, unpredictable resignification.



Concept and curatorship: Gustavo Romano
[ netescopio @ gmail.com ]
A project by MEIAC
Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo