Separating Signs, a semiotics project

Video Still, 2011
glass pane, language translation
16:8 dimentions variable

Separating Signs: signifiers from signified; is an attempt at creating an abstracted visual representation of language as it is spoken. By stripping the audible element from the act of speaking we are left merely with breath being exhausted from the body. If we were able to see these expulsions would they indicate any patterns or groupings, which then could be conceived of as another visual language? This project is an exploration of this type of representation. Our Japanese speaker is given an original English text. The translation is then presented to a native English speaker and then re-interpreted back into English. Each version begins it’s own transformation indicative upon the translators’ semiotic choices. As our speakers read onto a glass pane their voices are altered so as to separate the signs from the signified. All participates have the shared experience of living abroad and being enveloped by a foreign language. Thus the capacity for language in their lives has changed as well as within their mental infrastructure; there is now the capability to inhabit two or more sets of signs and signifiers. Has this space now become a common ground for all forms of semiosis to exist or will the brain always choose to occupy that of your native tongue?