Hi Victoria & List,
On Mar 25, 2014, at 10:10 PM, Victoria Bradbury wrote:
> spoke other languages as their native tongue. Those living in
> Beijing were
> already accustomed to crossing cultures and language barriers, so the
> concept of words being lost in translation resonated with them. An
> unexpected outcome was that those who were able to read and speak both
> English and Mandarin seemed to gain the most satisfaction out of
> interacting with *Toast* because the "success" or "failure" of the
> translation was evident.
I think you could call the software a co-performer. The software does
based on it's classic definition. Interestingly, the creative parts
are the mistakes the code makes.
This hooks into the neural paths of language especially wordplay and
puns. The piece works because the code is imperfect.
Why is it imperfect? Because the code can't laugh at it's own
mistakes and learn from them.
The deeper significance is that a person working with your piece
would eventually learn what words have problems being
translated and would alter the text of what they spoke into the
machine so the translation would come out correctly and still
intention of the speaker. In that case the human alters their
behavior or speaking patterns to conform to the machines needs. It's
like learning to use a tool properly.
A larger discussion is how computer interfaces are altering human
language. You know tweets, technical jargon, translation software.
Also how human behavior has become altered.
If you walk down the street today in New York, i/2 the people are
looking at their cellphones. Their sense of being and place is split
between the real world and the data-sphere.
Is that good? Is that bad? Is it Plato's shadow world?