A Translation Machine
Finding patterns where there aren't any
About the project
The terms “translation” and “machine” are deliberately open-ended and subject to multiple interpretations and readings. For the purposes of this project I will be defining them in the following ways:
To turn from one language into another; to change into another language retaining the sense.
To change in form, appearance or substance; to
transmute. (Oxford English Dictionary)
A combination of persons acting together for a common end along with the agencies they use. (Merriam Webster)
For this project, I will be translating the responses of a survey into melodies, with the objective of creating sound and visual pattern to organize and make sense of the information received. The questions asked in the survey are very random, and might confuse the participant in their search for meaning.
"Humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere. That’s important when making decisions and judgments and acquiring knowledge; we tend to be uneasy with chaos and chance (Gilovich, 1991). Unfortunately, that same tendency to see patterns in everything can lead to seeing things that don’t exist.
Patternicity: Finding meaningful patterns in meaningless noise (Shermer, 2008)
In Shermer’s 2000 book How We Believe, he argues that our brains have evolved as pattern recognition machines. Our brains create meaning from patterns we see or at least think we see in nature (Shermer, 2008). Often, the patterns are real, while other times they are manifestations of chance. Pattern recognition tells us something valuable about the environment from which we can make predictions that help us with survival and reproduction. Pattern recognition is imperative to learning. From an evolutionary perspective, seeing patterns even when they are not there is preferable to not seeing patterns when in fact they are there."*
This page is an archive of the responses received and translated. Please, feel free to answer the survey below this video. Responses will continue to be added as new ones come.
Make sure to roll down and to the sides to see all your option.
The speed of the melody, the instruments, and patterns have been determined by your answers.