EMBLEMATIC TRANSLATIONS is a site-specific light projection that promotes a contemporary view of cultural values shared within the Hispanic Society’s collections and re-imagined views of the respective countries’ flags. The installation encourages engagement in history, place and art through a vibrant, two dimensional digital experience projected onto the front of the Hispanic Society Museum in New York, New York. We projected the digital images we produced as well as used LED lighting to highlight the lion sculptures at the entrance as a representation of the Spanish Flag.
This was a temporary installation project, and the goals were to provide a contemporary conversation that engaged with the goals of the museum which are education and sharing their extensive collection, as well as to represent the 26 Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Nations’ Flags. These flags represent the cultures celebrated in the collection of the Hispanic Society.
WHITE ART STUDIO was invited by Hausmann Millworks to be involved in an educational trip to the museum and engage in understanding more about the museum and creating work for an exhibition in San Antonio, Texas for Contemporary Art Month (CAM). WHITE ART STUDIO provided a temporary site specific installation with digitally altered flag projections and LED lighting. The documentation of the work was then used in the Texas exhibition, and scheduled 2018 New York exhibition. This work “highlights the the currency of creativity and collaboration” as a theme in our artwork, while translating sound waves into colored light. Our concept interprets the visual language of Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations’ flags and their emblems as cultural symbols, downloaded through a Google search and digitally altered through selective pixelation into new iterations. The flat blocks of basic color that comprise most flags render them recognizable from a distance and these block forms are reiterated in the contemporary and oversized pixels in our images, but our pixels express variations of each hue, while refracting the specific symbols into abstract designs.
The works create the illusion of a digital rendering viewed from a distance, and require engaged perception to be understood. The flags are meant to be recognizable and distinct but we wish to display their similarities, also the presence of converging cultures. Our process reflects our experiences in several Hispanic countries, most recently our visit to Cuba in 2015, and celebrates the complex and resilient culture we enjoyed there, while appreciating cohesive thread of language. Each time we travel our memories are colored by layered realities and interpretations in the moment.