Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Present Continuous Past[s]: Media Art. Strategies of Presentation, Mediation and Dissemination

(Edited by Ursula Frohne, Mona Schieren & Jean-François Guiton; ISBN-10: 3211254684 / ISBN-13: 978-3211254684; Springer, Vienna / New York, 2005.)
This is one of the first publications in which my name was listed in the imprint as a translator (alongside Jeremy Gaines, Lilian-Astrid Geese, Ina Pfitzner, Stephan Kovats, Michael Robinson & Richard Watts — all colleagues I have never met).
Of the 16 texts in the book — by Ursula Frohne, Ulrike Rosenbach, Sabine Flach, Elke Bippus & Dirck Möllmann, Mona Schieren, Lydia Haustein, Dieter Daniels, Katharina Ammann, Hans D. Christ, Dennis Del Favero & Neil Brown & Jeffrey Shaw & Peter Weibel, Jean-François Guiton, Rudolf Frieling, Monika Fleischmann & Wolfgang Strauss, Rens Frommé & Sandra Fauconnier, Lori Zippay, and Bart Rutten — I translated the 4th, by Elke Bippus & Dirck Möllmann, entitled "Montage and Image Environments: Narrative Forms in Contemporary Video Art".
English-language example of the text: "Montage and collage are considered paradigmatic techniques of the modernist avant-garde. Montage is the generic term for a process which aims at achieving conceptually interpretational associations through the intercombination of heterogeneous individual items. The modern meaning of the term developed correlatively with the industrial production processes of the 18th century and was associated early with photography and film. Collage pursues an analogous principle within the field of painting, music, sound and literature. In collage, as with montage, the following applies: 'Diverse content, unrelated outside of the piece, converge. Forms, which as such are in principle always assimilatory, are to lesser extent coupled than disparate sensory information'. [...]"
Imagine 12 pages more.
I rather enjoyed translating that text, and made it an exercise to retain the original German sentence structure as much as possible. I came to truly appreciate the practicality of "former" and "latter".
So, what's the book about? Well, to simply quote Amazon.co.uk: "With a history of more than 30 years, media art plays an increasingly important role in the international discourse on contemporary art. The reception of canonical video works and electronic media installations is however restricted to temporary and locally defined displays in museum exhibitions or confined to incomplete catalogue documentations. This volume provides a unique combination of theoretical reflections on the reproducibility, preservation of authenticity, and juridical implications of emulation techniques with practical approaches to archiving methods and commercial aspects of media art's accessibility. It is an indispensable guide to the pros and cons for new forms of de-centralized systems of mediation and the growing demands for liberal rules and easy access to on-line presentations of media art. Uncomparable to other current publications, the book offers a practical manual with checklists of relevant websites and content profiles of major distribution companies."

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Franz Hitzler – Bilder / Paintings 1970-2006

(ISBN-10: 3925782532, ISBN-13: 978-3925782565)
This 48-page hard-cover catalog was published in conjunction with the solo exhibition of Franz Hitzler at Die Galerie, Frankfurt, from 29 June to 2 September 2006. This catalog, edited and compiled by Elke Mohr and featuring texts by the artist Hans M. Bachmayer (18 Sept. 1920 – 11 Jan. 2013), Thomas Hölscher, and Katharina Ponnier, was possibly the first project I ever worked on for Die Galerie.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Hartmut Jahn: Babylon Circus

(ISBN-10: 3936711909 / ISBN-13: 978-3936711905) Hardcover, 144 pages and with a DVD; texts by Jan Berg, Thomas Macho, Kersten Glandien, Rudolf Frieling, Niclas Glück, Dieter Daniels, Peter Wensierski, and Hartmut Jahn. Published by Cornerhouse Publications & Verlag für moderne Künst, Manchester/Nüremberg.
This publication from 2005 took a then-comprehensive look at the works and films of the German author, film-school professor, film director, and film producer Hartmut Jahn (born 1955 in Hanover). I was one of two translators to work on the project, both of whom are listed in the book's imprint.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Back to Gaya (Germany, 2004)

AKA Bo, Zino & the Snurks. Directed by Lenard Fritz Krawinkel & Holger Tappe. 
This fully computer-animated film, the first such film to be made in Germany, was actually a project of my trusted colleague Finbarr Morrin, but for a variety of reasons he pulled me in to help on the first two versions of the film script (which included both characters and scenes, including sad ones, no longer present in final script). Finbarr accompanied the project to the end and worked alone on the final drafts.
The plot of the movie released, as supplied by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com} at imdb: "The beautiful world of Gaya is home to a community of creatures, known as the Snurks, who are much smaller than humans, but who have an uncanny resemblance to them. But the Snurks are facing imminent danger. Someone has stolen the magic stone called Dalamite without which this world is doomed. Two Snurks named Boo and Zino embark on a dangerous mission to track down and recover the stone. As they attempt to find the stone, their journey takes them into another world that is both strange and frightening!"
The voices of the movie were supplied, in Germany, by (among others) Michael Herbig and Vanessa Petruo, while the big names of the English version were Patrick Stewart and Emily Watson.