Google Air Guitar, 2004
Giclée Archival Prints, 30″ x 44″“We decipher that which lends itself to cipher and discard the rest as surplus.” – Dave Hickey, Air GuitarGoogle Air Guitar is a translation of the 2,835 word essay “Air Guitar” by contemporary art critic and writer, Dave Hickey into 996 individual images culled from the Internet using the Google search engine. All images were collected from the Internet between February 26 and April 16, 2004. At that time, each image was in the top three search results. In his essay, Hickey states that in the act of writing about art, “you press language to the point of fracture and try to do what writing cannot do; account for the experience.” In response, I translated Hickey’s critical text back into the images it obliterated. Google Air Guitar now serves as a record of Internet photos, drawings and graphics representing a month and a half long period in 2004. Enough patterns emerge, however, to suggest the structure of language, one almost but not quite translatable. Google Air Guitar has been rendered completely untranslatable except to the original text, a language dead upon arrival.