‘Translations:’ a Sydney Sacramento Exchange

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Translations:’– A collaborative show based on an exchange and interpretation of ideas between Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento and Verge Gallery, Sydney.

The internet has supposedly flattened time, communication, and space to the point where place no longer matters. Idiosyncrasies, errors, foibles, coincidences, misinterpretations, synchronicities and surprises vanish as we all view the same websites, communicate on the same social media platforms, and catch the same viral videos.

Translations:’– in a bold post-digital statement substitutes the myth of the omnipotent datasphere (where it seems everything happens) with two distinct non-virtual locations; two unrelated – except by name – Verge Galleries. Separated by oceans, this project asks ten artists in each location to write instructions for the other ten artists to manifest. Cyberspace will serve as a conduit for these ideas, but to what extent can words and sketches survive the trip intact? What cultural conversions will take place at either end as recipient artists put their own spin on what confronts them?

The Brief

Artists are to create an idea for a work that can be put into an emailable format (using primarily text, but also images and sketches). These instructions should be an in depth and sincere attempt to convey the full breadth and scope of the work. They can be in any genre and medium, using any materials that the artists deem appropriate, with the understanding that any unreasonable requests may be interpreted in unpredictable ways. The artists will also agree to construct the reciprocal works using their own resources.

The instructions should be between 500-2000 words and there can be up to five sketches or images (all scanable and emailable), although these are not necessary. In addition, artists should write a 500 word piece indicating their approach to interpretation. How do you take text and emailed images and construct an artwork? What skills (both practical and conceptual) can you bring to a project such as this one?

The callout will end on February 28, but early entries are appreciated, and the final ten artists will be decided upon and notified by mid-March. The galleries will then pair up reciprocal ideas with artists. Artists will then have the end of March and all of April to realise these works. They will work without contact with the authors of the ideas. Each artist will also be asked to document their processes, and this documentation will then be forwarded to the other gallery and may be displayed as part of the exhibition.

Reciprocal exhibitions will be displayed in May 2013.

To avoid bias, each gallery will pick the ideas to be displayed by them (I.E. Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento will judge the submissions from Sydney and vice-versa). To avoid later conflict, paired-up artists will be considered co-authors of both works they create.

In summary, artists are to provide by February 28:

  • 500-2000 word instructions for an artwork,
  • Up to 5 sketches/images (relating to the instructions) – optional,
  • 500 word piece indication their approach to interpretation,
  • Brief CV (with contact details)

Please email the above information to g.shapley@usu.usyd.edu.au.

2 thoughts on “‘Translations:’ a Sydney Sacramento Exchange”

    • Sorry Stephanie, I’ve only just now noticed your questions. It’s the 11th hour, but if you still want to put in a submission, I can give you till tonight. And to answer your questions – yes, students from any faculty can participate, and just a fairly general CV highlighting arts/creative achievements would be good (it doesn’t have to be too long). Thanks! Greg

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