Last Words – Ulysses

At what point does language become unknowable and at what time of erasure do we cease to connect to those who are gone?
Last Words is a video installation, based around the last paragraph from James Joyce’s modernist novel Ulysses, where the female character unleashes a stream of consciousness, revealing the human need to communicate and connect.
Project Year
42” diagonal LCD screen (video)
Vancouver, BC Canada
Commissioned By
Contemporary Art Gallery
Project Status
The passage in Chinese
The passage in French
The piece shows the passage from the book in eight languages including binary. The passage is shown is typography relevant to the time when the book was originally published.
The passage in Machine Language
Each language is displayed in a sequence of letters that fade-in gradually, revealing words and ultimately the passage.
The piece also aims to explore the point at which the brain is able to suddenly identify words and understand meaning from partially obscured text. As the letters start to fade away, once again we pass the threshold of comprehension.
The video is on permanent display at The Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia.