About LastWords / TypeTrace

  Can digital data contain our deep emotions?
 We will collect anonymous last words from anyone using TypeTrace, a software that records all the processes of keyboard typing. The result will be exhibited in an installation at the Jut Art Museum’s “LIVES” show, from March to July 2022.
When we look at our own mortality, what will we say to our children, loved ones, family and friends?
 And what do we think when we read these texts written by others at the imaginary end of their lives?

About TypeTrace

This installation consists of the "TypeTrace" software for recording and reproducing letters along with temporal data typed on a keyboard, coupled with a kinetic keyboard on which the typing action is physically reproduced. By capturing and reproducing the process of writing a text in such detail, this work hints at the possibility of reading the trains of thoughts hidden behind the eventual product.
  In 2007, Yukio Mishima Prize winner MAIJO Otaro, known as a "masked" writer who avoids public appearances, utilized this tool for penning a new work. He is planning to write another new novel during the period of this exhibition.
Since then, TypeTrace has also been used for scientific research in the fields of cognitive science, human computer interaction and artificial life, while the work evolved into a social digital archive from the exhibition at the Aichi Triennale 2019.

dividual inc.

The startup, dividual inc. was launched in April 2008 by media artist Endo Takumi and information-science researcher Dominique Chen, later joined by creator Yamamoto Koichi in July of the same year. Based on their mantra, "People will always need people," dividual has created works such as TypeTrace, which visualizes people's typing patterns, and has also released and managed various web services such as the mutual care taking online community "rigureto" (2008 - 2017) , the private photo messenger app "Picsee" (2015, Awarded "Appstore, Best of 2015") and the anonymous community app "Syncle" (2016, Awarded "Appstore, Best of 2016"). The company was acquired by SmartNews Inc. in January 2018; dividual continues to operate and manage some of their pre-existing services and to work on artistic projects.

Selected Works & Awards

2021 Kojima H, Chen D, Oka M and Ikegami T (2021) Analysis and Design of Social Presence in a Computer-Mediated Communication System. Front. Psychol. 12:641927. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.641927
2020 “Last Words / TypeTrace”: Ars Electronica 2020, Tokyo Garden (Online Exhibition)
2019 “Last Words / TypeTrace”: Aichi Triennale 2019 Tame Y/Our Passion, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan
2018 Dominique Chen, Hiroki Kojima, Mizuki Oka, Takashi Ikegami: Designing a Communication Space containing Agency using Writing Record InformationProceedings of the Annual Conference of JSAI JSAI2018(0), 2D2OS21a04-2D2OS21a04, 2018
2015 Akira Kudo, Takeshi Okada, Dominique Chen: Writing Style and Revision Process of a Novelist Examined through Real-Time Creative Process Data, Cognitive Studies, 2015, Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 573-590, June 01, 2016
2012 "The Way of TypeTrace ~ Maijo Otaro Edition": [Internet Art Future] Reality in Post Internet Era, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo, Japan, 2012
2008 "The Way of TypeTrace ~ Maijo Otaro Edition": 12th Japan Media Arts Festival, Art Division, Jury Selections,Tokyo, Japan, 2008
2007 "The Way of TypeTrace ~ Maijo Otaro Edition": Haptic Literature, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2007

LastWords/TypeTrace Production Team

Artist dividual (Takumi Endo, Dominique Chen)
Technical Director Shinya Matsuyama (siro)
Editor Yusuke Ujita (Thinking)