Lucas Selezio de Souza

found footage looped on a single-channel screen and single-focal video projection

Lost in translation is an English expression meaning “lost in translation”. It refers to a word or words that have lost or lack all subtlety of meaning when translated from the original language to another, especially when done literally.

Information in the contemporary world is a consumer good like any other, and as such is governed by patterns similar to those of other commodities. Traditional media take advantage of the spectacularization and trivialization of information to keep the viewer obsessively consuming information from quite questionable sources.

Lost in translation is a 5-minute found footage film shown in a loop, in single-channel screen and monofocal video projection. It deals with disinformation in contemporary society after the COVID-19 crisis and the impact of social networks versus traditional media. Its main objective is to transmit hoaxes about the coronavirus that circulated in social networks in the first months of the pandemic.

To do so, the piece makes use of Spanish subtitles in videos elaborated with fragments of statements by foreign political leaders, maintaining the original audio. Their transmission together and on the same screen causes confusion in the viewer due to the cacophony of voices and saturation of images.

The statements included in the piece are linked to the management of the different countries of the COVID-19 crisis and exhibited on television channels. The selection of such pronouncements takes into account the variety of languages and countries and excludes Spanish-speaking nations, thus underlining the problem of translation referred to in the title of the piece.

Each video is composed of fragments of different speeches and deals with a specific hoax. The final effect of the videos is that of zapping, as if changing television channels. The videos mix complete sentences of the political leaders with abrupt cuts, so that the information that begins to be transmitted by one leader seems to be confirmed by the others. They use hoaxes extracted from web pages dedicated to the analysis of information circulating in social networks.