(the New Jerusalem?)
Animation of William Blake’s Jerusalem running through the 24 official languages of the European Union
with Welsh and Scots Gaelic via Google Translate.
Manoeuver your way through the ‘airport’ to decide where you want Mr Gee’s reimagining of Blake’s poem
to take you.
In ‘Arrivals’, you can watch the animation cycle through mistranslations and algorithmic assumptions
which transform the original work.
‘Baggage Reclaim’ allows you to select videos of native speakers reciting their versions of the poem.
‘Lost Luggage’ allows you to play random verses from each translation combined to form an aggregate poem
of multiple voices and mistranslations.
Click on the Arrivals Board to enter.
About The Work
William Blake's Jerusalem is considered the defining narrative of this ‘green and pleasant land’. Poet Mr Gee explores Blake’s work through the 24 official languages of the European Union as well as Welsh and Scots Gaelic, via Google Translate’s AI system.
Using the visual metaphor of an airport arrivals board, incoming ‘planes’ bring the free movement of people, language, and interpretation. Old meanings deteriorate as new ideas emerge according to algorithmic assumptions and corruptions.
In this interactive online version, you are invited to maneouver your way through the ‘airport’ to decide where you want the poem to take you.
In ‘Arrivals’, you can watch the animation cycle before moving on to the interactive sections: ‘Baggage Reclaim’ and ‘Lost Luggage’. In ‘Baggage Reclaim’, you select luggage from across the EU to access videos of native speakers reciting the mistranslations.
New meanings are found and old sentiments deteriorate as the poem moves between different voices, languages and dialects.
In ‘Lost Luggage’ random verses from each translation are combined together to form an aggregate poem of multiple voices and mistranslations which changes upon each playing. The original poem’s point of view shifts between the sinister, the banal, the hilarious and the absurd.
2019 - 2020, Mr Gee
Copy That? Surplus Data in an Age of Repetitive Duplication
Curated by Hannah Redler Hawes, Julie Freeman and Anna Scott
Copy That? ODI Data as Culture research and partnership season for 2019–2020. It encompasses an exhibition at the ODI and separate but interconnected installations, performances and events at our HQ and elsewhere.
Copy That? asks: how ‘true’ is the data ‘you’ and how many versions exist online? From the myth of the perfect digital copy to the benefits and pitfalls of simulation, we question the purpose and trustworthiness of incessantly reproduced data. What gets lost or gained in translation? How important are corruption or interference to creating and revealing ‘true’ copies? Moreover, as the internet creaks under the volumes of data being copied and shared, servers heat up, fuelling growing concerns about our climate. What number and kind of copies should a healthy internet be able to sustain?
Bring Me My Firetruck (the New Jerusalem?)
2019 - 2020
Animation of William Blake’s Jerusalem running through the 24 official languages of the European Union with Welsh and Scots Gaelic via Google Translate.
Commissioned by Data as Culture at the ODI for Copy That? Surplus Data in an Age of Repetitive Duplication
Production: Translating Nature
(Julie Freeman, Stephen Wolff, Max Gate Digital
Country flags via flag-icon-css.lip.is
Split-flap animation inspired by Flapper
Icons from Noun Project contributors: Daniela Baptista, Denis Sazhin, Luis Prado, Saee Vaze, Stanislav Levin, iconsmind.com, Tommy Lau, icon 54, Eugene So, Mike Rowe, Ralf Schmitzer, Rudy Jaspers, Shmidt Sergey, Aldric Rodríguez, Mahmure Alp, Adrien Coquet, Yeoul Kwon, Strokeicon, glyph.faisalovers, Flatart.
With thanks to our participants: Elora Kadir, Ivan Marevich, Karin Bednarova, Tui Lin, Charlotte Bitter & Max Van Rossem, Miriam Tomusk, Cleo Lee, Lamzo Nubien, Thomas Dietz, Joanna Bray, Lorand Kiss, Oisín Mac Giolla Bhríde, Eleonora Oreggia / xname, Elina Rubine, Jurgita Dedinca, Martin schranz, Margot Przymierska, Jorge Pinto, Laura Bucin, Timo Hill, Jana Hovanec, Damjan, Sonia Duarte, Mary-Anne Buyondo, Matthew Hawes.
About Mr Gee
Mr Gee (UK) is a veteran of the UK’s spoken word scene and a BBC radio presenter. Gee champions promoting unheard voices in society, in part through his extensive rehabilitation work in prisons. He has delivered TEDx talks, starred in West End shows and is known as “Poet Laureate” on Russell Brand’s SONY award-winning radio show. His published and performed works are regularly featured across UK mainstream media.