Day 5 of DIVVY/dual Project#1 “Type-Trace”

5th day of the DIVVY/dual exhibition. To explain the Type-Trace program on display very briefly, it records what you type on the laptop – not only the words, but also how you typed, where you paused, which words you erased, and so on.

poster for DIVVY/dual Project #1

DIVVY/dual Project #1 "Type-Trace"

at Kobo (2)
in the Ginza, Marunouchi area
This event has ended - (2006-09-18 - 2006-09-23)

In Reviews by Lena Oishi 2006-09-25

The size of the font changes according to the time it took for you to type – in other words, the longer you pause, the larger the font of the next letter you type.

Being bilingual, I have the liberty of trying out the program both in Japanese and English. Here is what I have found so far: Visually, I think that the Japanese version is more interesting, as it seems to detect words rather than letters. While the English version changes the size of each letter, the Japanese version clumps words or phrases together, so that the meaning of the word itself becomes magnified. Thus, this affects the way in which the text is read later, or possibly the meaning of the text itself compared to when it is merely “flat”. Meanwhile, the English version reads much the same way as a normal text, with minimal changes (maybe the first letter of each word, if you are a relatively competent typist).

I find it interesting that the Japanese version affects the meaning of the text through visual stimulation. I guess the effect is similar to that of pictures (“emoji”) used in mobile phone text messages which are used to convey emotions through images. These visual punctuations give the text a visual cue of sorts, making it easier for the reader to pick up on the underlying tone of the message (or at least the tone that the sender wants to convey). But in this case, the punctuation lies not in the words that the typist chooses, but in those words detected automatically by the program after a time lapse, or mind-lapse if you will. Thus, the meaning of the text gradually shifts from the literal meaning typed and assumed by the writer, to one artificially given by technology, through variables like time and skill. This sort of shift in meaning does not occur with the English version of Type Trace, as only letters are subject to this enlargement of font.

To those who cannot read/write Japanese, this additional (and possibly one of the more interesting) aspect of the program may be lost on them. Perhaps it might be interesting to see whether an English version which detects and highlights whole words can be developed, to parallel the Japanese version.

Lena Oishi

Lena Oishi. Born in Japan in 1982, grew up in England and Australia. With a BA in Media and Communications and MA in Cinema Studies, she now lives in Tokyo as a freelance translator and occasional editor. Works include VICE Magazine, Japanese editorial supervision of "Metronome No. 11 - What Is To Be Done? Tokyo " (Seikosha, 2007), and translation for film and art festival catalogs. She can also interpret simultaneously if you give her enough candy. Lena likes making her eyeballs bleed after watching way too many films while eating ice cream in the dark. » See other writings


About TABlog

TABlog's writers deliver regular reviews, features and interviews to stimulate discussion about all sides of Tokyo's creative scene.

The views expressed on TABlog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of their employers, or Tokyo Art Beat, or the Gadago NPO.

All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
Tokyo Art Beat (2004 - 2018) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use