For a year, I wrote by hand on paper, a haiku-a-day. Then I translated the haikus to Norwegian, using Google Translate. Of course, these translations are not accurate and likely make little sense. This act is a modern enactment of the term: transliterations. Sometimes bad translation can be funny and sometimes they can be rude, or extreme cases fatal.
As a personal endeavour, ask in much of my serious work, I look for ways to transform frustration, through forms of ridicule to ridiculous. Can laughter be a service of mending divided relations, or are such aspirations purely naive in the times we live today.
The project services a study in structure and rules, such that an English poem following the rules of Haiku, are then broken when translated to Norwegian. Is there a way to compose the haikus in Norwegian so they follow rules of haiku? or could such a project be considered futile?
The idea to do this haiku project started with a desire to learn Norwegian. The classes were difficult in that I became so enamoured with studying the etymology of words- the pace of learning was slowed. And in many ways, though deeply frustrating at times still-I learned a great deal about the English language and how I have used words I thought I new their meaning and really, in fact, did not. And if in today’s culture speaking words with different meanings is permitted-then how do we uphold the structures which we rely upon?
Enter the latency of learning. The ripples, halos, after effects of learning and having the learning come around later.
This project now has developed into proposal of The Arctic Residency research project: Gå Sakte.
Exhibition Note: This haiku project I envision as an interactive exhibition, where people can write-in their haikus in their language, and people can translate them as part of playing/learning new cultures. I would like to see a world where things are not all in English, but rather where different languages and cultures can be celebrated for and tolerated in their differences.