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Time’s Tattarrattat

A project questioning the nature of time. Why does time run forwards when the laws of physics show that it could run backwards as well? 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 investigated the problem of time's arrow through a series of conversations that led to the development of Time's Tattarrattat. The performance was presented during John's lecture at Aboagora festival in Turku, Finland in August 2015.

Inspired by the connection between the arrow of time and information, I made a drawing that diffused across the ceiling of the space that reacted to the irreversibility of John's spoken word. I used the speech recognition in Google Chrome web browser and analyzed each word for how close it was to a palindrome. Depending on the degree of 'palindromicity', each triangle in the image was moved more or less randomly. Because speech is irreversible, like how the smoke from a candle never returns to its original position, no matter how long John spoke the pieces of the drawing would never return to their original places.

The link to the YouTube video is here Time's Tattarrattat



Piece on ceiling

Setting up

Looking Up

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.30.14 AM