The Aberration of the Translator

Description (in English): 

The Aberration of the Translator considers virtual reality as a social space, one with its own rules of presentation and communication. Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” is sampled and celebrated to create a microcosm of colliding quotations that break and collide across the virtual space of the CAVE. Every language is a foreign language, learned through memorized rules and societal agreements. In Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator,” refastening shards of a shattered vessel is compared to the act of translation; writing must be fragmented and then reassembled to traverse barriers of language. The Aberration of The Translator acknowledges the world which utilizes linguistic tools to order, colonize, and develop architectural space, specifically interrogating the act of code-switching and the multilingual experience.

As a personal translation of the found text, original content was written in response to Anzaldua’s essay and recorded. These short responses serve as inspiration for the sonic interventions to the physical structure of Anzaldua’s essay fragments. Meaning is shattered as languages are transported across culture and territory in an audiovisual environment. Texts overlap, audio readings interrupt each other, sentences fold in upon themselves. The project seeks to question where languages converge and break apart. Simultaneously, the environment asks: how can three-dimensional space articulate and challenge legibility? The piece makes visual a collage of the incomprehensible and the legible in order to render a place of bewilderment. What results is a new apparatus for reading across languages.

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Jane Lausten