I believe translation is the most advanced creative activity. Interestingly, nearly everyone is a master of the art and translates multiple times a day. We use language to translate our thoughts into words that give meaning and create new ideas in the minds of our audience. The American Psychologist Steven Pinker argues that humans’ innate ability to create and decipher language is grammar itself. Grammar is the instinct that orders our thoughts, shapes our memory and forms our identity: it is not possible for us to consciously exist without it. Language is at the root of being human and is common to every culture worldwide.
If that’s so, then why are pictures worth a thousand words? What can an image convey that written or spoken language cannot? What makes visual language so compelling? Where does visual language come from? What does its grammar look like? What is responsible for shaping the visual language of a culture? April Greiman asserts with the name of her studio that ideas are “Made in Space,”and I believe this is true.
I will to search for answers to these questions by examining the visual makeupof the world’s 9 biomes on all 7 continents in an iterative four-week cycle. Within each biome I will critically explore nature through photography and drawing, spending a week observing the environment’s colours, forms and other visual phenomena. I will then investigate a selected city for a second week to determine nature’s influence in cultural identity by documenting the visual language of the prominent architecture, art, fashion and design. Upon returning to my studio, I will spend two weeks translating my experiences and discoveries into multimedia artworks. I will curate my artworks in a cumulative year-end exhibition: thus translating the world’s visual grammars into something curiously tangible.