Friday, January 29, 2010

yo xochitl

I'm a sucker for installation art projects. Even though most of them suck, I'm an optimist and I find the genre interesting and compelling so I keep waiting until I find one that doesn't suck. You can find me sitting in the little white rooms in the basement of the Hirshhorn on many Saturday mornings ... waiting. So I was happy to stumble upon (though, not via StumbleUpon) the video above called "Barrio Linguistics: An experimental study of the linguistic landscape of Spanish Harlem, New York" (HT Mahalo).

While it is neither experimental nor a study in the academic sense, I found it enjoyable as linguistics related art. FYI, I'm not sure how to translate the phrase from the video "yo xochitle" (apparently, xochitle is Nahuatle for 'flower' ... I flower???).

From the video's YouTube page:

Barrio Linguistics is an exploration of nomadic Spanish found in the linguistic landscape of Spanish Harlem, New York City through interactive video installation. Makes use of photography, animation, poetry, video projection and electroacoutic audio to incite dialog about the role of language and advertising in contemporary society. The piece is an experimental documentary of the linguistics of south-north migration and the changing face of urban semiotics.  The piece was created by sampling all publicly viewable Spanish language text within a five block radius in Spanish Harlem. Later, a poem was written using exclusively this vocabulary.   In the installation, the order of the videopoem is dictated by the user. 

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