Maria Mencia

Another Kind of Language

Another Kind of Language: multimedia interactive installation. The work has been produced using various digital and multimedia programmes(Flash 5, Photoshop, Premier, Sound Edit). With this piece I am exploring communicative systems produced in an interface of signs from different languages and semiotic systems. I am particularly interested in the area of ?in- between? “Semantic-Text, Image-Text and Phonetic-Text”, that is; the meaning created by interweaving visual, aural and linguistic elements. The work is created by three different layers; each layer is formed by revealing still and moving images and the phonetic sounds of three different languages: English, Mandarin and Arabic. The sounds were created by speakers of these languages, singing and pronouncing the combination of sound used in these linguistic systems. When choosing the languages, as well as the sounds, I was interested in the differences of their visual element, reading patterns (right to left, left to right, top to bottom) and linear and non-linear qualities. These issues are analysed in Visual Poetry, and recently in Digital Poetry/Art. The textual-visual image of the piece varies depending on the language. By rolling over the mouse the textual-visual surface appears and disappears, revealing the text-image and sound. The user can go from one of the layers to the others by clicking on three different buttons. The images in each layer are different according to the language. In the layer with English sounds, the background (the white page) is filled with the written form of the sounds when the viewer interacts with the piece. The writing is visible but not legible and I have used black and white colours as a reference to the white page and black ink. In the one with the Arabic sounds, there are letters embedded in what it looks like tile”s designs. Arabic letters, being such beautiful designs, they are often incorporated in architecture. In the layer with Mandarin sounds, there are moving films behind the white surface. I wanted to transfer its ideographic quality by having full moving images like small narratives underneath the white surface.

María Mencía PhD in Digital Poetics and Digital Art. Artist and Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at Kingston University, London, UK. She was awarded an AHRC grant (2005) for her project Cityscapes. Exhibited and presented papers at national and international galleries, festivals and conferences such as; ARCO 2004 Madrid; onedotzero 2003 ICA, London; ISEA 2002 [Orai] Japan; Digital Surface: A CULTURE 2000 Programme of the European Union,TATE Britain, London 2003; IV Jornadas de Arte y Multimedia 2002, CaixaForum- Mediateca, Barcelona, Spain and BEAP 2002 Perth, Australia.