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love.abz and the Task of the Machine Translator: An Interview with Otso Huopaniemi

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love.abz (2011-2015) was a series of performances that began when Finnish playwright and performance scholar Otso Huopaniemi ran his play, An ABZ of Love, through Google Translate, repeatedly translating from Finnish to English in a recursive loop. This poetic experiment in machine translation then evolved into a Babelian performance work that used live acting and live machine translation to explore the fragility of language and our ongoing relationship with machines, as well as questions of textual stability, semiosis, and authorship. love.abz was performed in New York, Berlin, Cardiff, Karlsruhe, and Helsinki, with several different casts and using a variety of languages. In this extended dialogue, Huopaniemi and Rita Raley together consider "the task of the machine translator."

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