research on translation and interpretation
the practice of reinventing realities, messages and data, and creating
new meanings

— Walter Benjamin | The Task of the Translator
Selected Writings: Volume 1 1913 - 1926 (1921)

In The Task of the Translator, an essay written to accompany one of the many translations Benjamin wrote, Benjamin presents his theory of translation. A translation should not simply aim to convey information. In fact, translations often convey information best if they are inaccurate. Nor should it seek to read as if the work were originally written in the new language. It shouldn’t seek to be to the new language what the original is to the original language. In One-Way Street, Benjamin states that commentary and translation are to the text as style and mimesis are to nature. Translation should aim to continue the creativity and originality of the work. (review by Andrew Robinson)


— Alex Byrne | Recollection, Perception, Imagination
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009)

Remembering a cat sleeping (specifically, recollecting the way the cat looked), perceiving (specifically, seeing) a cat sleeping, and imagining (specifically, visualizing) a cat sleeping are of course importantly different. Nonetheless, from the first-person perspective they are palpably alike. (introduction)


— Johanna Drucker | Graphesis: visual forms of knowledge production
Harvard University Press (2014) pp. 016 - 063: Image, interpretation and interface

Even though our relation to experience is often (and increasingly) mediated by visual formats and images, the bias against visual forms of knowledge production is longstanding in our culture. Logocentric and numero-centric attitudes prevail. Vision has served knowledge in many ways across the sciences, arts, and humanities in theoretical and applied domains. Attention to style, iconography, and other formal properties is well developed in the fine arts, where concerns with connoisseurship and the social function of images drive the field. We also know that pictorial images reveal much about the history of visual culture and knowledge and that familiar art historical theories and methods are used for their analysis.


— Stavros Stavrides | Emancipatory Commoning?
Open! | Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain (2016) pp. 2

In the relation to the discource about redefining new commons, Stavrides emphasizes the importance of open communities of commoners. “In order to be able to support potential relations of social emancipation commoning has to be open to ‘newcomers.’ Not simply as new members in a community of already established rules and habits but as co-producers of those rules and habits. To keep alive the power of commoning we need to support its expansion: in new areas of collaboration (‘goods,’ ideas, services) and by including new people, new potential commoners. [...] ‘Commons’ are not actually ‘things,’ ‘goods,’ etc., but socially meaningful entities that are shaped in relations established through commoning.” In this prospect, art, may become a propelling force of commoning: by the ‘translation’ art can be reinvented through commoning as a means to learn from differences and play with differences as long as equality and solidarity are not cancelled.


open set    apply