Time’s Tattarrattat is an voice activated installation, originally presented at Aboagora Festival, Turku, Finland as part of a performance. The work consists of a microphone and a projected image. As participants speak into the microphone, the image disperses and diffuses across the space. The installation is accompanied by an original drawing that forms the basis for the projected image.


Original drawing, pencil and watercolour on paper, 40cm x 40cm.


An artwork exploring the relations between time and language. Time’s Tattarrattat is a voice activated moving image artwork, exhibited here as part of a performance. The work uses speech recognition and analyzes each spoken word for how close it is 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.

The word 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.

The image is from a photo of the clouds over Trieste, which Libby took while visiting John.  The photo of clouds was pixelated into triangles using code Libby wrote. Libby copied this digital image using watercolour and pencil,, which 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.