I am not listening

Description (in English): 

The reading of any text, or the translation from one language (or mode) to another relies on a process of interpretation. Following Derrida, in his theory of translation, Lawrence Venuti writes that ‘Because meaning is an effect of relations and differences among signifiers along a potentially endless chain (polysemous, intertextual, subject to infinite linkages), it is always differential and deferred, never present as an original unity’ (Venuti 2008: 13). These plural and contingent relations that have the capacity to produce different meanings were played out in Ana Cavic and Sally Morfill’s animation for ELO 2016 (Rules that order the reading of clouds). Lines, as signifiers, developed through gestures of drawing, reformed repeatedly to create different relations, and produce new meanings that shifted between the contexts of image and text. In the process of making Rules (2016), the active space where interpretation occurred and meaning was produced lay between the frames of animated movement. This between space, or gap - prone to perceptual failings - is at the core of a new collaboration between Cavic, Morfill and Tychonas Michailidis. I am not listening is an interactive installation in which the interpretative space between the aural, visual and haptic is exposed and activated. The audience is witness to what Roman Jakobson describes as ‘intersemiotic transposition’ (1959): verbal signs are interpreted by means of non-verbal sign systems, and vice versa. Where Jakobson stated that ‘poetry is untranslatable,’ a creative transposition provides the listener with vibrating sensory feedback that is in fact a direct translation of the text. A chain of translation processes begins with simple drawing gestures from which a ‘kit’ of lines is developed. These lines, translated into a material form (initially adhesive vinyl), are physically arranged and rearranged to construct a series of poetic texts or ‘sculpture poems’ that in turn provide the content for audio recordings of spoken word. While preparing the adhesive vinyl lines, the process of weeding (removing the unwanted shapes from the vinyl sheet) produces remnants that are rolled into spherical sculptural objects. These are reinterpreted in their final material form to incorporate vibro-haptic technology, providing an object-interface through which the audio recording can be manipulated. In this work, therefore, literature is mediated by technology. The inclusion of alternative sensory formats to support the listening/reading of a text both augments the experience of the audience, and underlines its incompleteness within a chain of signification.

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Vian Rasheed