Authors | Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin is an artist and a postdoctoral researcher at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Taking the archive as the primary locus of her practice, Birkin unfolds the term “archive”, not as a discussion of nostalgia and decay, but by approaching images through information management, through descriptions and lists. Working at the intersection of text and image, she combines media culture and techniques of the archive, as well as contemporary discourse on art, photography and conceptual writing.

Articles on Amodern by Jane Birkin


Archive-Based Image Description as an Intermedial Translation Technique

The archive-based translation of image to text is explored in relation to the direct and literal translation of texts between languages. A visual content-based description applies institutional language and record-keeping methodologies, cataloguing visual elements and spatial relationships. It operates, like interlingual translation, within a system of shared knowledge and linguistic structures. Creativity and intuition are perceived as problematic to both translation processes and analysis of meaning is not a requirement. My set-piece description of a news image is provided as an example of translation in practice. It is also the vehicle for a metatranslational discussion, through which a case is made for raising the status of the “secondary” text.