Epic Tales - CCA: Glasgow Net Art Commission 2003

Posted by Carlo Zanni | Wed Jul 9th 2003 11:03 a.m.

Epic Tales by Carlo Zanni - CCA: Glasgow Net Art Commission 2003

http://www.zanni.org/epictales.htm

[Explorer 5+ - Pc or Mac (not osX)]
-you need at least 60-80 seconds to load the new page-

At the same address you can find a description of the work and an interesting text by Francis
Mckee who is curating right now the Scottish pavilion at the Venice
Biennial.

The piece is a kind of "installation".. something immersive... the most important thing is the feeling you receive back.. and of course, being a conceptual work, people need to read a couple of paragraphs to understand it.

Epic Tales is a php based online engine translating and substituting Modern English words with Old English words using a 2500 entries vocabulary taken from the Beowulf manuscript.
Beowulf written in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D., describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century. Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic in British literature.

All the pages are destylized and reformatted using the BeoWulf font loading it online, so without installing it on your machine. (This font has designed following the original Beowulf manuscript)
All the images are processed, transformed in greyscale mode, losing also quality.
here are visualization samples:

1 (cnn.com) : http://www.zanni.org/epic/stills/epic\_still\_1b.GIF
2 (cnn.com) : http://www.zanni.org/epic/stills/epic\_still\_1.GIF

The sound streaming is a really powerful epic war song by yat.kha.

In the end the processed page loses its glamour, its graphic layout, becoming flat.. without emotions.
It looks also as an old manuscript. It's a piece about how the time can change the perspective of our "violence" from "big drama and blood" of our daily news to heroes and epic behaviours of people of the past.
I think there are many ways to look at the piece and the Borges quotation (to read it, select "description" on the work homepage) is a way to underline another point of view: When you don't understand a language you focus your attention to sound and form...

Nobody can read old English I think, but you can easily understand the "main subject" of what you are reading, even if translated and with that strange font.
In the end the web page looks like and old epic book, where you can not see anymore the glam of colors and words but just raw b-n photos and a medieval txt.

I think people should not read the translated text but they should browse those pages as when you open an old book with engravings...
I think all our daily behaviours are in some ways "militaristic" oriented. And above all all gov behaviours are. But everything is hidden by adv and pr campaigns.
Also there is a tradition in educating people in believing in their own innocence, fighting back without caring about why things happened.. a kind of Passive - Aggressive National education.

cz

http://www.zanni.org

Keywords

-Society's Portrait
-Epic vs. Drama - a time based distinction
-Fight to impose your own standards
-Natural Behaviour and Behavioural Needs
-Media coverage Exposure/Affection
-Passive - Aggressive National education
-Daily Post -Traumatic Stress Disorders
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