Google Translations / Cyfieithiadau Google
"Google Translations / Cyfieithiadau Google" is a modular series of videos which are a record of translations back and forth between English and Welsh using Google Translate. An English word (e.g. “truth”) is translated into Welsh, then that word is translated back into English, and so on, with each translation getting further in meaning from the original word. The process ends when the opposite word (e.g “lie”) is arrived at. The advantage and the curse of unlimited digital space and of the network is that every possibility is catered for, and that every interpretation can be found supported somewhere. This would never have been possible in the era of the paper dictionary. This work serves as a metaphor for this feature of the network. In a post-truth, fake-news society, how much does range pose a threat to accuracy?:
“If you’re searching for support for your views online, you will find it. And moreover, you will be fed a constant stream of validation: more and more information, of a more and more extreme and polarising nature.” – James Bridle, “New Dark Age”.
Of course this work could be executed in any two languages which Google Translate caters for. There is quite a cognitive load, as you try to find areas where meaning may overlap, and steer in the direction of fertile areas (homonyms where the path splits into many possibilities). As a linguistic challenge, it is in interesting curio; as an expression of the network, its implications are more disturbing.
There are currently 61 of these works, varying in length from 3 translations to 86 translations. For this month-long residency, a new translation will feature on each day of the month.
Google Translations / Cyfieithiadau Google will appear at "Impossible Material", a joint show investigating virtual/physical hybridity with artist Dewi Williams at Galeri Caernarfon, 7th June - 19th July 2019. Opening event Saturday 8th June @3pm (all welcome).
Previous translations will be archived here: