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Le traducteur



This installation consists of 16 small speakers, eight AM radios, four FM receivers, one FM transmitter, one large speaker and one stereo auto-reverse tape player. Twelve speaker plates are suspended by nylon filament from the gallery ceiling. Attached to eight of these speaker plates are the eight AM radios each tuned to a different frequency. The four FM receivers are attached to the remaining suspended speaker plates. These receivers are all tuned to the same frequency - that of the FM transmitter. The suspended speakers are evenly spaced forming a two-dimensional matrix. The large speaker, housed in a case reminiscent of an antique radio, is attached to the left channel of the stereo tape player. The right channel of the tape player is attached to the FM transmitter.

The left channel of the tape played back is of a man's voice reading in German, part of "Der Rundfunk als Kommunikationsapparat" ("The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication") by Bertolt Brecht. The right channel is a woman's voice providing a simultaneous translation of the German text into English.

This piece is intended to function as a three-dimensional diagram of broadcast radio - how radio works and how it does not. The woman's voice heard against the live, commercial and public radio voices sounds hesitant and uncertain as she tries to make sense of and render communicable the German text. The use of a text written in Germany in the early 1930s prescribing radio, at that time a new technology, as a two way, liberating form of communication is deliberately ironic.


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