‘Rulers and Dictionaries’
What is being wrong? What is the right answer? I have been always fascinated about the idea of making through error and mistakes, perhaps this fascination has been informed by my experience as foreigner and speaker of English as second language, where mistakes becomes a common terrain and define who you are.
Dictionaries, as canonic collection of words, represent a system, a standard tool for learning. Languages, alphabets, letters, numbers and measurement systems are arbitrary structures that help us to order the world. They define our interaction and perception of the world, which assist us to understand it and give it meaning.
Rules and dictionaries, as learning tools, are objects that are made to give a ‘precise’ guide, that offer a definition, a ‘correct’ measurement or interpretation. That delimit what is correct from the incorrect, the objective from the subjective, the logical from the illogical. Through these objects and experiments I explore and play with ordered systems of knowledge. I investigate the idea of inverting processes, moving away from the orderly processes embodied in rulers and dictionaries to inhabit the erroneous and the uncertain. Altering these ordering systems is an attempt to questioning and reflect on the arbitrariness of language and imposing canonic knowledge.
In my recent work I explore ideas of knowledge, process of understanding and misunderstanding, learning and how we interpret or misinterpret things.
'Old masters & irregular verbs'
A random collection of old slides are paired with a list of irregular verbs. Creating endless and arbitrary combinations.
In my experiments I used basic ‘infantile’ knowledge, (things that we learnt as kids) such as nursery rhymes and simple instructions of how to do things like folding a paper boat (fig. 3). These activities all required an element of learning or more specifically re-learning, as the supposedly familiar content was presented anew in a different language or as a mistranslated instruction.
Participants were asked to follow, as accurately as possible, a set of simple instructions for how to fold a paper boat. These instructions were translated several times (from English to Spanish, and back again) using ‘Google Translate’. As the text was translated back and forth, its original meaning gradually disintegrated with each re-translation.
'Dysfunctional lessons': Lesson 1
Based on the game of Chinese Whispers, participants were asked ‘to learn’ the initial song. They listened, and were then recorded re-singing the phrase.