Unexpected Translations

via Rhizome

"Gareth Long's
interdisciplinary practice explores the nature of various forms of
contemporary communication by subjecting the narratives conveyed through
material objects, such as video and books, to unexpected and often
highly erroneous transliterations. As with the work of the artist's
conceptual forebearers, like Pierre Hughye and Pierre Bismuth, the
interpolation of one medium with those of another does more than simply
expose their respective limits: it draws each into unfamiliar light,
under which many of our habituated ways of navigating the world are
suddenly put into relief. With Don
(2006), Long ran the George Guidall-narrated audiobook
version of Cervantes' novel through speech recognition software, in
attempt to faithfully reproduce the original text. Yet even while the
artist exactingly trained the software to respond to the accent and
intonation of Guidall's voice, errors arose – especially considering
that Guidall often assumes different voices for the characters of the
story. Long bound the resulting text in the novel's actual softcover, as
if in faithful reproduction to the original: a most appropriate homage
to Quixote's confusion of fiction and fact. It's hard to dazzle
(2006) is the artist's latest exploration of lenticular
printing, a process in which up to thirty video frames can be embedded
in a single, printed image. A viewer can see a given print's full
succession of images only by moving around it – terms of engagement
strangely appropriate for Long's depiction of the 1987 explosion of
Challenger Flight 51 L. By taking an event that many remember on highly
personal terms and enabling a viewer's mobile participation – and, on a
more unsettling level, ability to play forward or play back the
sequence, through their movement – Long pinpoints the intersection
of subjective and collective memory, and the continual need to
evaluate the ways we remember.
– Tyler Coburn

Image: Gareth Long, It's hard to dazzle us, 2006



3 thoughts on “Unexpected Translations

  1. Jess, an interesting piece but I think you will find that the Challenger explosion happened in 1986, not in 1987 as reported. Sorry, I get a bit anal about facts.

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