Foreign Logics: Thirty Tourist Episodes

CD ROM by Bernard Cohen and David Bickerstaff


The tourist's experience of language is of mistranslations, words overheard and partly comprehended, language used too fast or stretched out so slowly that the beginning of a sentence disappears as its end approaches.

We remember places for their (rapidly discerned) feel of love or threat: for the sad smile of the woman in the hotel or the sarcastic nature of a waiter, for the heat that strikes on leaving a department store or the smell of the drains. In one country, the static green man in the pedestrian symbol leans forward as if hurrying; in another, he is notable for his disproportionately large head; in a third, he is animated, speeds to a panic as a green timer counts down the seconds remaining before the traffic will rush forward. Everywhere: insomnia, vertigo and the smell of cooking.

The tourist irrevocably owns all visited destinations. Here they are, available for recall in ten remnant words - from which emerge half-memories, recent and ancient legends, these foreign logics.

Exhibitions and Performances
Institute of Contemporary Art, London (featured multimedia, September 2001)
Lethaby Gallery, London
Bath Festival of Literature
University College Worcester
Australian High Commission, London
The Lighthouse, Brighton

Credits
Concept: Bernard Cohen and David Bickerstaff
Text: Bernard Cohen
Visuals and sound: David Bickerstaff
Programming: Paul Whittington
Producer: Peter Ride
Commissioned by DA2 Digital Arts Development Agency
Funded by the National Lottery (UK) through the Arts Council of England's National Touring Program