The More The Better (Two Truths and a Lie) is a multimedia installation exploring the relationship between foreign languages and trustworthiness. The work consists of 100 videos in the 100 most prevalent languages on the internet, looping on used devices and hanging from a single metal structure. Recent research indicates that people are more likely to trust information in their native language and the work explores this bias through the children’s game ‘two truths and a lie.’ People all over the world were asked to capture themselves telling three personal anecdotes in their mother tongue (two truthful and one fabricated). The size of each screen was determined by the percentage of global internet content in that language, and despite the visible disparities in size, every voice can be heard at the exact same volume.
By immersing spectators in the fractured and uneven linguistic demography of the internet, the work seeks to illuminate the hegemonic power of dominant languages while simultaneously drowning them out in a polyphonic chorus of the world’s lesser-known tongues. In the post-truth/post-pandemic era, it’s a zoom conference from hell, where nobody can be muted or trusted.
Lead fabricator: Joseph Summers
Studio assistant: Annija Kijoneka
Sound design: Jackie Zhou, Dummy Juice
Academic advisors: Dr. Daniel Pimienta, Dr. Martin Van Den Berg, Dr. Livia Polanyi, Dr. Andras Kornai
Additional assistance: Arthur Jongebloed, Melody Michmacher, Najam Ul Assar, Sol Ye, Mike Mogler, Casey Homovich, Olha Pylypenko, Charlie Balch, Leslie Thornton, Kat Nguyen, Adrian Zaw, Oliver McGarvey, William Grob, Monty Fitzgerald
Key contributors: Thomas Zummer, Luna Chen, Cristian Baena, Mischa Badasyan, Liwia Stern, Alexa Zaw
This project is part of the MediaFutures project and has received funding from the European Union’s framework Horizon 2020 for research and innovation program under grant agreement No 951962. In addition, this project was supported by Neustart Kultur and Stiftung Kunstfonds in Berlin, Germany.
Mihály Kornai (HU) is a Hungarian-American artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. His work explores the infrastructure of human connection, examining how modern communication tools alter the fabric of social intimacy. Kornai’s mother, father, and stepfather are all computational linguists whose research into natural language processing during his upbringing instilled an early interest in language and technology. The thematic focal points of his works are often cautionary, from the dystopian potential posed by online filter bubbles to the corrosive forces of phone addiction on teenage sexuality.