Interview for Sounding Drawing by Anne Douglas and Kathleen Coessens, with Ann Eysermans ( Replies and questions for Ann are edited out), August 2012
Tim de Cort: The general idea is that I transform text into an image. That’s nearly impossible to do overnight (it’s been three years now) so I focus on short-term goals. I just keep working and make changes with each new idea I have. With each addition: a new dictionary, installation concept, or a new composition impact, the entire code changes. I just experiment with ideas that use the functionality of translating words into imagery. For example with Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is an application to talk to your laptop that writes down what you said so you can write texts by speaking.
Anne Douglas: Voice recognition.
Tim de Cort: Voice recognition. That’s an example of something that came along. I experiment with an idea, try it out and then implement it or leave it on hold like with Dragon Speaking. Everything grows from that one thing, so there isn’t a specific work that I make besides works that are derived from the core functionality, which is the translation. For example the installations could be considered as separate works, but the installations from last year wouldn’t be the same if I would repeat them now, because the core has changed already and it would look and behave quite different. There’s no going back in a way. To use the functionality of the translation around a subject – that is, in a way, a work. The Google lines for example: I used Google’s image culture and taxonomy to make a point about the control a position like that exercises. With Google I used the images from Google to make compositions and looked up Google News hot topics to use them as keywords to download twitter opinions on that Google hot topic for that specific date. That’s like a work, in a way, but I don’t have specific goals besides that core and utilizing it on specific points in it’s development. In a way it is one big work that evolves. Is that clear?
Anne Douglas: So Google News provides you with the subject matter and you then manipulate or undergo a process of developing text into image.
Tim de Cort: I develop text into image, which is composed out of edited Google search images. I choose a topic out of the 5 hottest Google topics (voted by the readers) to then use the opinions on Twitter to get the general online opinion atmosphere around the subject. The idea is to make an image with Google’s image culture on topics picked out by Google itself. Only, I use Twitter to get the opinions of people on that topic and use that as a textual basis.
The idea of using Google for both the content and the imagery is something I haven’t gotten around to yet. Because the idea behind that is to have something that lives online and creates imagery dynamically based on the changes in the news.