Satakielikuukausi artikkelikuva

Arlene Tucker

Translation is Dialogue – an interactive art project

Translation is dialogue and it allows transcendence of one text to another. Regardless of whether the situation is happening organically or consciously, it is bound to the subjective state of the translator. Yet, it is through such discourse where truth or realization is found. One approach in understanding the boundaries and meaning creation of a text is to be fully engaged in translating the text.

The interactive art project, Translation is Dialogue (TID) is based on the continuity that the nature of translation offers. I picked a song and gave it to Alejandra Pineda Silva, a dancer and semiotician. Pineda then choreographed a dance performance on the basis of this song. Space, dancers, materials and anything that is needed to make this performance as she wishes is available because it was constructed in her imagination. Two recorded versions of Pineda verbally describing her envisioned dance were sent to artists around the globe. The artists’ participation in the next stage of translation is to create something on the basis of Alejandra’s description. Now, not only is there the translation of the musician’s intent to sound, sound to recording, recording to ears, Pineda’s ears to thoughts, thoughts to voice, voice to MP3, these selected artists have created an extension of melody, meaning, and purpose from their translative interpretation.

TID is an ongoing art exhibition that generates a new phase every time it is presented. This is due to the fact that in each installation, the participation of new people, the medium they choose to express themselves with, the context of their creation, and how the way art inspires them changes. TID was first presented in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2010 and has been installed in Tartu, Estonia, Helsinki, Finland and NYC, USA. Contributing artists have come from the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, as well as Eastern, Central and Western Europe and Scandinavia.

Each exhibition centers from the inspiration drawn from Pineda’s two verbal descriptions or pre-existing TID artworks, which the artists or participants then reinterpret and create for the installation. To date, TID has enabled over 100 art pieces to be realized and shared in a multitude of mediums ranging from visual, video, and textiles, to sculptural, sound and performance arts. This project focuses not only on the art that is produced but the theoretical
and practical tangents that occur in the creative process. The main purpose of TID installations is to create a space for participants to respond creatively to the artworks and to perpetuate dialogue on meaning generation based on translation theories.

You are invited to submit your translations for the next TID installation. Email Arlene at to learn more how to participate in the project.

About the project Translation is Dialogue:
Photos: Translation is Dialogue


The writer of this post is a multidisciplinary artist and illustrator who lives and works in Finland. In Satakielikuukausi she will participate the artist team of “My day – My life” comic art workshops.

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