Sonicacrostipunctus: Can the untranslatable be materialised?
2017, Installation—The idea for this structure originates from a short story “Contracrostipunctus” by the writer, physicist and mathematics Douglas R. Hofstadter from his book ‘Goedel, Escher, Bach–An eternal golden band’. It is about a conversation between Achilles and a Tortoise illustrating that certain features of a poem can not be translated into another language without loosing or even ruin its original intention.
One of a specific feature of language is the so called ‘Acrostics’. It describes a technique where the first letter of a poem can be assembled to a word that can be read vertically. Through this a poem can be memorised more effective by just extracting from one word a whole verse.
Using this method tells something about the syntax of a language which defines its structure. Because it is so specific for a particular language it can hardly be translated.
This sculpture does not refer to this lingusitic feature, but rather more to explore the syntactical features of a machine. Because language always involves technology as different writing tools, machines can also be seen as a part of defining language. Furthermore, it can be speculated that machines itselves incorporate an own language which moreover affect written language.
A welding machine can combine two copper wires under pressure and electricity by pressing two thicker rods together. It seems obvious that wire can be welded together in any three dimensional shape, but this is not correct, if the challenge lies in making a symetrical three dimensional shape of a cube.
This metal structure is the final outcome of exploring the ‘language of a machine’. Here in particular a copper welding machine. If this structure of language tells something about originality then it can be also asked what might be the language of this machine?