An Introduction to TRANSCRIPTIONS
Transcription is the process of bringing thoughts, sound or data into the written form. By this description, transcription is the basic act of writing about art; the notation of experience, and its attendant thoughts, sparks and emotions. In this effort to represent the phenomenological, arts writing as transcription might be closer to the meaning of the word as it used in music, where it invokes the complexity of a composition intended for one instrument into a composition for another. If the experience is to be translated in a new language, the spirit, tone and tune of the original has to find a way through. The critic and poet John Berger may have articulated the endeavour best when he spoke of translation as not a binary act, between one form of communication to another, but a triangular one; an act that requires not only the knowledge of languages, but an understanding of what the text stands for.
We gather up what we have found there and take this quivering almost wordless ‘thing’ and place it behind the language into which it needs to be translated. (1)
TRANSCRIPTIONS, the sixteenth issue of fine print, is interested in how that ‘thing’—the experience of a work of art—might be placed behind the variety of forms of communication that we can employ in this service; from the visual to the written, from the spoken to the performed. This following series of documents—audio, video, image and text—is a supplementary publication to our inaugural live presentation at the Art Gallery of South Australia in September 2018, offering a glimpse into the event and providing additional material reflecting each artist’s interpretation of the theme.
TRANSCRIPTIONS 1 was performed in September 2018 by Bridget Currie (SA), Alice Clanachan (SA), Roy Ananda (SA), Kate Power (SA), Ali Gumillya Baker (SA), Grace Marlow (SA) and Monte Masi (SA). All videos by Johanis Lyons-Reid.
Berger, John, 2016, ‘Self-Portrait’ in Confabulations, Penguin Random House, London, p.4