you are variations: Ecologies of Translation
Thursday, Mar 05, 2020, 7:00PM
Osher Lecture Hall
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Image: you are variations, versions 01 - 02 / wiir sii d'Böüm (we are the trees), 2015; Performance in collaboration with 25 children from primary school Leuk, CH. Courtesy the artist.

you are variations: Ecologies of Translation

you are variations addresses a vital, urgent and intricate matter of concern:

Can we learn to listen to a tree? And if so how?

The research studies the water cycle of trees. It processes environmental data on sap flow from scientific research on climate change, transposing it into a musical score and enacting it collaboratively. Attention is drawn to the complex water-cycling and sophisticated energy balance of trees under changing environmental conditions. Its queries are relevant for contemporary scientific research concerned with climate futures, as well as questions regarding art’s stance and the contemporary locus of its transformative power. The project proposes that we face these challenges together.

The research links environmental with social and mental ecology. The aggregation of disciplines, languages, and natures that are unfamiliar to each other reveals difference. In the attempt to bridge this difference, translation incites a gap, a transformation and a mediation. you are variations plays with this folding process of translation, apprehending it not as an exclusively human practice, but as the fabric of relations: an “ecology of translation”.


Christina Della Giustina studied Philosophy, Art History, and Linguistics at the University Zürich, CH, and completed her postgraduate studies in Fine Art and Political Theory at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, NL. Christina Della Giustina’s artistic practice entails the gathering, structuring and transposing of data on water, rendering dynamics particular to specific environments publicly accessible and perceivable.






Presented in partnership with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and swissnex San Francisco.