code switching

Erin Seymour

1999 | 00:05:52 | United States | English | Color | Silent | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Future, Media Analysis

"code switching began as a contemporary reaction to Adrian Piper's Cornered (1988). It goes on to explore the fracturing of contemporary identity within modern culture, and the mechanisms by which individuals assign and create the cultural, racial, personal, and social identities around us. We all have codes by which we interact with and interpret others. Depending on what situation we are in, we adopt the appropriate persona to fit the occasion, constantly creating representations for others to read appropriately.

The piece consists of a videotape documenting a computerized sketch of my face. By placing three dollars into a mall photo booth, I was interpreted, drawn and given a representation of myself to carry home. The piece is silent. Any information given is mediated by reading. As the sketch develops, the viewer reads the facial features of the person forming in front of them. The only representation of voice is mediated through sub-titles. The text addresses the viewer directly causing a flux in the locutor from monitor screen, to artist and then to the viewer--directly. Sound is established when conscientiously acknowledged as thought. The individual in code switching exists in a purely technologically mediated world and has placement and development entirely within the viewer's interpretation and the assumptions he or she make on them."

--Erin Seymour

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