TRANSLATE: Move from one place or condition to another

Collaboration with Assistant Professor Ladan Bahmani

To translate and mediate between languages and cultures is a daily experience Ladan and I share. Being bilingual, sharing English between us, navigating through familiar and foreign cultures is an experience we are interested in researching visually, semantically, and experientially. This project aims to create an experience for participants that is analogous to the act of translating languages and cultures — to move, shift, decode. Using our three languages of English, Korean, and Persian, we have explored the three alphabetic systems through letterforms and moving lights to investigate coded meanings through obscure forms.

The word “translate” means to move from one place or condition to another. English, Korean, and Persian are written in three different directions (left to right, top to bottom, and right to left, respectively.) These directions are used to demonstrate different perspectives to reveal a common meaning. The equivalent words for “translate” in Persian and Korean also begin with a “t” sound. This commonality is presented visually as the three words/sentences start from the same position.

View video1 and video2.

Photos by Jason Judd and Alice J Lee

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