Milton Friedman on the Wonder of the Free Market Pencil,
41 language alphabetical Google translation loop, starting and finishing in English, 42 digital prints on paper, each 21cm x 29.7cm; 2009

The artists’ transposed a monologue from the influential 1980 PBS TV serial ‘Free to Choose’, written and presented by the Chicago School economist Milton Friedman.

The transposed text eulogises a humble pencil, describing how it exemplifies the harmonious potential of the free market economy to unite the peoples of the world through its manufacture and the operation of a global ‘impartial’ price system. Kennedy Browne parse issues of globalism, migration and intercultural communication by feeding the text through every language then available on Google’s online translation software – resulting in a poetic, if garbled, final statement.

This work is one of a series commissioned for the Irish Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, taking as its starting point Dublin as ‘the city Google chose’ for its EMEA* headquarters, and a recent statistic that the city is home to over 167 languages - what the Facebook corporation has described as a ‘multilingual pool’.

*EMEA - Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

To see the original Friedman PBS monologue, visit here.
This work is part of the Kadist Foundation's collection, Paris.

Exhibited at:

The Irish Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale
Blue Collar Blues at the Tallinn Kunstihoone, Estonia
Kennedy Browne at The Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
Kennedy Browne at N.C.A.D. Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
IrelandVenice at the Golden Thread, Belfast, Northern Ireland
L'Exposition Lunatique, Kadist Foundation, Paris

 

 

Installation in the Centre Culturel Irlandais, 2010