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Time’s Tattarrattat

An artwork exploring the relations between time and language. Time's Tattarrattat is an voice activated moving image artwork, exhibited here as part of a performance. Tattarrattat was coined by James Joyce in Ulysses to mean 'knock on the door', here we are knocking on time's door.

In collaboration with physicist Dr. John Goold from ICTP, Trieste, Italy, we probed time's arrow through a series of conversations that led to the development of Time's Tattarrattat. The performance where John spoke about time was presented at Aboagora festival in Turku, Finland in August 2015.

A photo of the clouds over Trieste was taken and pixelated using bespoke digital code. Libby copied this digital image using watercolour and pencil. This drawing was then scanned and digitally cut up into 450 small triangles. This image is then projected onto a ceiling and is altered by each word uttered into a microphone.

The work uses speech recognition and analyzes each word for how close it was to a palindrome. Depending on the degree of 'palindromicity' of the words, each triangle in the image moves more or less randomly. Because speech is irreversible the pieces never return to their original positions once activated. Like smoke rising from a candle, our aging bodies or fumes from an exhaust, entropy and disorder continually increase.

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