The global economy exchanges goods, services, and information through technological and commercial networks that transcend national borders, while traditional ideas of cultural identity and language are challenged by global migration. Personal identity and cultural affiliation come to the foreground in this new environment. Translation has new consequence, and the meaning of culturally specific representations embedded within it is key. This paper outlines ideas of “embodied translation.” Embodied translation may be contrasted with technical or direct translation of one language to another by an emphasis on identity construction, the performative qualities of language, and the consequence of emotional identification and affect by the reader with the subject matter. In a larger sense, the use of story schemas may also augment a critical evaluation of the differences between histories and beliefs embedded in specific cultures. Case studies are cited that help illustrate the use of “embodied translation.” These projects use the physical context of a gallery while combining audiences at a distance simultaneously online, presenting issues of immigration and identity construction, in the site specific environments of Tokyo, Prague, Berlin, the USA, and other cultural contexts. The projects are digitally interactive, allowing different audiences to respond to the content and have their answers shown in collective visualizations in real time.
|Keywords:||Translation, Cross-cultural Design, Interaction, Immigration, Identity Politics|
Associate Professor, Department of Graphic Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA
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