Deciphering Babel: A Confusion of Sights and Sounds
International Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities
Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract: The story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis is surrounded by confusion. The very meaning of the story is unclear, but the punishment handed out is not: mankind is doomed to confusion. This paper addresses symbols and metaphors used in the author's site-specific multi-media installation Babel Amidst an Arising. Through the manipulation of space, form, image, light, music and sound, this installation examines the world as we see it; how we portray it to others; and how they, in turn, portray it to us. The story of Babel is recited in a babbling cacophony of languages superimposed over videos with seemingly contradictory visuals and sounds, for example, very serene videos of jelly fishes versus the actual backgrounds of screeching kids and their parents at a public aquarium. Intermingling religious and secular references appear throughout, offering both hope and despair. This paper also addresses how symbolic interactionism theory affected subjective meanings viewers imposed on the installation because of its specific site location.
Track: Social Sciences and Humanities
Deciphering 'Babel': A Confusion of Sights and Sounds. International Journal of Arts and Sciences. Prague, Czech Republic. July 14-17, 2015.