Swapping Spit:  Translation as Representation


A Literary Conversation & Workshop


Curated/Organized by:  Strophe (

Special Guests: Jen Hofer, Laura Vena, Hillary Mushkin, Tanya Rubbak & YOU

7:00pm Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Every work of art is an act of translation (representation, appropriation, transmutation, expression). Whether done consciously or unconsciously, all artists pull from the cultural phenomena around them, borrowing, blending, and bleeding the residue into new creative responses. In this way, it can be said that writing is an act of swapping spit—every author is in intimate conversation with other artists of various métiers and their works, past, present, and future.

As Jorge Luis Borges writes, a book (or any work of art) “is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations.” When cultural phenomena is translated, transferred, re-represented, or remembered, how are these axes mediated by their new form? Here, we look at translation, not only as a replacement of words from one language to the next, but as a larger, more complex system of interconnected representations and narratives.