The Interdisciplinary, Diachronic and Prefigurative Translations of Blodlopp
The video work Blodlopp cut across three disciplinary demarcations and thus required spectatorial translations of
(i) applied performance | moving image
(ii) immunology | costume work
(iii) artistic research | activism
The artwork emerged as artistic research (immunological studies, workshops with actors and non-actors, experimental laboratory work with the artists’ own blood) in a double residency at the bio-artistic institute SymbioticA and Fremantle Arts Centre. The project drew on the hypothesis that the immune system can be viewed and applied as a blueprint for culture-historical changes through encounters with alien cultural agents.
The upshot became an artwork in its own right, but given the politicized conditions in metropolitan Perth at the time it also served as a paratactical instantiation to the indigenous crisis in the city. Unlike traditional modes of oppositional art, Blodlopp was more in line with contemporary forms of ‘prefigurative’ actions which are not necessarily contingent on something it protests or refuses to become, but rather establishes a radical and affirmative alternative to it.
Given the chiastic structure of the artwork, its exhibitory framework and its timely context, it is through the critical minds of audiences that the translations must emerge between the artistic, scientific and political strands.
On the Social Construction of Everyday Life: The case of Saga Noren from the TV-series Broen
Sociologists can make use of art to highlight social phenomena and social interaction in various social settings. The aim of this paper is to highlight how deviants can expose the taken-for-granted reality of “the theatre” of everyday life. This paper focuses on social interaction as it is portrayed in the Danish/ Swedish crime drama television series Broen with special attention to the main character, the Swedish female homicide detective Saga Noren.
This paper is based on the symbolic interactionist view. I especially make use of the work of Mead, Goffman and Garfinkel to analyze social interaction and in particular deviance from normal everyday interaction. I illustrate how Saga breaks the common unwritten rules of social interaction, how others perceive her and how she generates a mood of strangeness in her social encounters in different social settings. The script even suggests that Saga suffers from the Asperger ́s syndrome.
It is interesting to note that while Saga is being “true” to herself and her own feelings she is considered to suffer from a disease while those who are not “true” to themselves – in the same sense – and take part in the make-believe acting of everyday life, are considered to be normal.
Documentary Film-Making as Intersemiotic Translation
This paper examines the concept of intermediality in my 10-minute documentary film, ‘Towers of Babel’ (2014). Part of a broader project exploring the nature of documentary film-making as a form of intersemiotic translation, it focuses more specifically on the various types of translation (i.e. written and oral; visible and invisible; professional and social) at play in a multilingual and multicultural working environment like the United Nations.
Itself conceived as an experimental translation of Jacques Derrida’s essay ‘Des Tours de Babel’ (1985), my film enacts his concept of ‘double bind’ (the idea that translation is both impossible, yet necessary), by bringing to light the contradictory demands at work within the organisation (the impossibility, yet necessity, to overcome plurilingualism through translation), and shows that in a multilingual environment like the UN the ideal translation is also paradoxically a negation of translation.
Reflecting on the intersemiotic dimension of documentary film-making as a form of translation, this paper suggests that translating reality into film is itself an impossible task, one that cannot be accomplished without also transgressing the very notion of objective reality that documentary film-making seeks to represent. As such, it invites us to think about the possibility that, as a partial and subjective response to reality located between reality and fiction, documentary film-making is itself a space of intermedial translation.