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Genesis 11:1-9 

2016
Video, TV monitor, index cards
Size Variable

About

Genesis 11:1-9  revisits the Tower of Babel  in the post-Internet age and explore the inconsistencies of language through translation, be it through an analogue dictionary or an online algorithm.

The artist appropriates the opening sentence of the Genesis 11:1-9 - "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech." - that introduces this etiological myth in the Old Testament and, using Google translate, translates this sentence from one language to another, into the 50 main languages available on the online translation software ranked by alphabetical order. She then turns individual translation back to English and writes them on index cards. 

In the exhibition space, the actual index cards are spread around the floor around the TV monitor that displays in loop the virtual journey of these biblical words and their meaning thru space and cultures.

As the translations progress, the sentence slowly disconnects from the original text, traveling independently through vernacular differences and cultural relativities. Its meaning is altered by the weight of languages, its nuances are weaken at each iteration of the process. The translation algorithm is exposed to the everlasting ambiguity of language and human exchanges described thousands years ago in the Old Testament.