Translating New Territories: Approaches to video art and translation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Exploring translation as a strategy and concept in contemporary art, this paper will discuss the visual production as a translational process. This will be done using a case study of an international video art project co-curated by Zoran Poposki and Laurence Wood, over the course of three editions in the past four years, and involving more than 20 international artists ( As Nicolas Bourriaud states in the Altermodern Manifesto, contemporary lives have become journeys in a chaotic universe, transforming it into a territory, which may be travelled both in time and space. Similar to Walter Benjamin's doing away with the idea of the original and its primacy for translation and "therefore the whole binarism of traditional translation theory" (Buden 2009: 200), Bourriaud's altermodernity is conceptualized as "a matter of replacing the question of origin with that of the destination" (Bourriaud 2010: 40). In this process, it is precisely translation that becomes the operating logic of contemporary art: the passing of code from one form into another, where every element has value only inasmuch it modifies the form of the next one in the neverending chain of interconnected signifiers. The translated meaning and [consequently] the cultural identity thus produced is something which is not stable, closed and selfcontained, but productive, performative, open and in a constant process of movement and change, an ongoing state of becoming. In such a changing terrain, individuals’ daily practices, as well as their sense of self, rely on constant translation and mediation between identities and cultures, an ongoing process of negotiation of cultural meanings. Using the concept of intersemiotic or inter-artistic translation (Vidal 2019) the paper establishes a dialogue between artistic practice and translation, exploring the role of art in translation studies. Copyright © 2019 EST Congress.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


Poposki, Z., Wood, L., & Todorova, M. (2019, September). Translating New Territories: Approaches to video art and translation. Paper presented at The 9th Congress of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST Congress 2019), Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


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