SIGGRAPH 2014: Acting in Translation


Art Show Overview:


In the sea of ever-changing conditions of multiple realities, there is no single or homogenous approach, but a diversity of resisting mechanisms and artistic strategies. Therefore, translation, as a term and as a tool, generates plenty of potential fields for art production in disconnected trajectories. Furthermore, these fields have the capability to cover and merge with other fields of knowledge. Translation indicates a detached and forward movement from the source. It is also a freeing act, which paradoxically contains a burden of responsibility for the source. Therefore, this movement has limits and fine borderlines, yet it could designate “more” than the source. Translation is a call for other realities and also another way to see other realities. Translation can also blend “fact” with fiction by blurring the difference between them. In this vein, translation as a term could be interpreted in multiple ways on different layers of perception. While this term indicates a mechanical act, it may also refer to global and local societal developments such as resistance movements, alternative economies, information leaks, migration flows, and mobility.

Works in the Art Gallery have several common approaches and angles. While some of them position the viewer as the witness of what the work is, criticizes, and/or processes, others encourage the viewer to be part of their content through interactive approaches. Some works inhabit experiences with different media and formats, while some produce inquiries about technological developments and their political, ideological, cultural, and economic implications.

Points of View (2013–2014) by Zohar Kfir is an ongoing interactive database-driven web documentary that represents a collaboration between the artist and B’Tselem’s Camera Distribution Project (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, The work enables viewers to navigate through a variety of scenes, locations and timelines in the West Bank and Gaza from multiple points of view. Points of View is a perfect example of translating traditional cinematic techniques with interactivity, layering visuals, compressing and expanding time, and fracturing narrative. The project both conveys the day-to-day lives of Palestinians and documents some of the human rights violations that occur in the region. Subway Stories (2013) by Alon Chitayat is another work about personal stories and how they are merged with daydreaming and imagination. The work also inhabits a strong criticism of control mechanisms and isolation, experienced on a daily basis: the “conductor’s box” enables the viewer/user to control the projection and its focus point.

While one handle is controlling the train’s speed, the other handle sets the camera zoom. The thoughts and sounds of the passenger in focus are heard according to the movements and decisions of the viewer/user. Paul Stout’s Apparition (2014) is an installation composed of many contrasting materials including glass, plastic, electronic components, wire, brass, steel, LCD screens, and preserved plant and animal matter. The work eliminates the interaction factor by positioning the viewer as “the witness” of its continuous course. Apparition’s content is articulated by observing and exposing a set of natural processes envisioned as elaborate machines. Ecological catastrophes are also the subject of Rachele Riley’s The Evolution of Silence (2013). The work is a web-based archive, visualizing the scale of damage brought about by nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. By navigating through this archive based on a non-linear map, the viewer experiences this restricted desert landscape as a personal voyage.

Acting in Translation Gallery Chair

Başak Şenova


Exhibition Artworks: