Excercises in style

2010

Exercises in style of the everyday are an artistic exploration of language and translating- interpretation in the age of software mediated information. As an homage to Raymond Queneau, these exercises take the form of the children's game Chinese whispers, retranslating the same content through multiple languages, eventually returning to the original one, to find the meaning in an altered, sometimes unrecognizable state. Only, instead of human ear-to-ear retelling, the content is taken through the widely spread Google Translate service.

Using this common algorithmic way of translating, the work questions the ever more common relying on technology and techno-positivist belief in a computerized substitution of every human task on an example of a precise and delicate matter that the human language is.

The resulting form of Excercises in style: On our deportment alludes to the book as a codex, set of rules, institution. And through showing the gradual process of loosing meaning, the work emphasizes the role of context, which can render social rules of one age or/and cultural context completely absurd to another.