‘Everything we do is translation, and all translations are in a way creations.’ – Octavio Paz

Translation, in its traditional sense is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language — the source text — and the production of another, equivalent text in another language — the target text. The goal to establish a relationship of equivalence between the source and the target texts (that is to say, both texts communicate the same message), while taking into account the various constraints placed on the translator. (These constraints include context, the rules of grammar of the source language, its writing conventions, its idioms and the like.)

In contrast to the notion that the source text is always the primary text and the translation an inferior duplicate, Borges held the view that a translation can in fact improve an original, that contradictory renderings of the same work can be equally valid, and that an original can be seen as unfaithful to a translation.

What “On Translation” is however concerned with is neither the source-language/text nor the target-language/text, per se, but rather the meaning that is generated through translation – the friction between languages that generates a third text that is concerned with the function of language as a seemingly transparent generator of meaning.

Again and again we are faced with the fabric of language as a tactile translucent entity that persuades and contradicts. The texts that follow function by baring the process of language – its structure – and the meanings that arise through contrasting juxtapositions, “bad translations” and contextual shifts.

Laura Marsh
Paolo Javier
Babu Eshwar Prasad
Carlos Motta
Sonia Jose
Sunoj D.
Kristin Baumlier

Sreshta Premnath

Babu Eswar Prasad lives and works in Bangalore. He works primarily with painting and video and often deals with issues of cultural disjunction using images from popular culture and the media.

Carlos Motta is an artist who lives and works in New York City. He is Editor-in-Chief of artwurl

Sreshta Premnath currently lives and works in Bangalore. He is currently the editor of Shifter magazine

Laura Marsh lives and works in Cleveland, OH. Her work is often site specific, creating visciral and sensuous installations that often deal with paradoxes of femininity and separation deeply entrenched in her personal history.

Paolo Javier is the author of ‘the time at the end of this writing’ (Ahadada). He teaches at Hunter College, and lives in Queens

Sonia Jose lives and works in Bangalore, India. She is focused on issues of cultural, social and geographic displacement, identity and memory. She is a graduate from Srishti school of Art Design and Technology (Dec 2003).

Kristen Baumlieaer is a multi-media performer and installation artist. She received her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland, CA in 1994. During a summer residency in Germany in 2003, she created her work Antenna that investigated ideas of communication.

Sunoj lives and works in Bangalore, India. He was the 2003 winner of the Bose Pacia award. His work deals with the paradox of personal identity as in public and private spheres.