Image Atlas Bridges Art & Technology
USA- New York, NY | Aug 6 2012 | (23:12:46 - EDT)
Artist Taryn Simon and technologist Aaron Swartz recently bridged the fields of art and technology through the creation of "Image Atlas," www.imageatlas.org. This interactive online work investigates cultural differences and similarities by indexing top image results for given search terms across local engines throughout the world. Visitors can refine or expand their comparisons from the fifty-seven countries currently available, and sort by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or alphabetical order. This work was created during Rhizome's Seven on Seven Conference at the New Museum.
"The New Yorker" Culture Desk calls it " Taryn Simon's Visual Babel".
"Image Atlas highlights cultural differences and similarities, and questions the possibility of a universal visual language. In some searches it presents a flattening and in others it highlights the inevitability of contrast. And then there are the scrambled moments-like, I typed in the word "jew." The results yielded a crude caricature that seems to have circulated in many countries. In Syria, it presented Obama in a yarmulke, and then in Germany it was all photos of Jude Law, because Jew in translation is "jude," and clearly "jude law" is getting more hits than "jew" within those borders right now. As people move farther away from verbal communication (Instagram, etc.), it's worth questioning if visual communication is subject to the same issues of translation and misinterpretation found in verbal communication."
Read more: The New Yorker | Taryn Simon's Visual Babel
Source: Gagosian Gallery
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