Last Words / TypeTrace

  • Installation view at Aichi Triennale 2019

    Last Words / TypeTrace, 2019

    Photo: Ito Tetsuo

Successively displayed on 24 methodically arranged monitors are "10-minute last words" collected via the Internet, while a keyboard on a table in the center of the exhibition automatically inputs the according text without human involvement.
This work is based on the "TypeTrace" software that has been developing since 2006. The software can be used for recording and reproducing entire text input processes via a keyboard, including the timing of typing or erasing letters. The sizes of letters vary depending on the time intervals between the input of single words.
Different from the uniformly sized letters one usually encounters in books or on displays, here the writing person's mindset, with aspects of momentum and hesitation, is vividly reflected in the resulting text. Just like authors' handwritten drafts exhibited at museums for example, or correction marks added in the proofreading process provide information in addition to that of the respective text itself, this work makes the viewer aware of the existence of the writing subjects behind the texts.
The experience of writing one's last words is at once also an opportunity to rearrange one's thoughts toward loved ones, and about one's own past and future. New entries are still frequently uploaded to the special website that was set up in order to collect "10-minute last words" for this exhibition.

dividual inc.

  • Founded 2008 in Tokyo, Japan
  • Based in Tokyo, Japan

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 the community-based web service "rigureto" (2008 - 2017) and the photo messenger app "Picsee" (2015). dividual's shareholders included many prominent angel investors such as the likes of Ieiri Kazuma and Director of the MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito. The company was acquired by SmartNews Inc. in January 2018; dividual continues to operate and manage their pre-existing services.

Selected Works & Awards

2012 [Internet Art Future] Reality in Post Internet Era, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo, Japan
2008 12th Japan Media Arts Festival, Art Division, Jury Selections, Tokyo, Japan
2007 Haptic Literature, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan


Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (10F)


Aichi Arts Center 10F
1-13-2 Higashisakura,Higashi-ku, Nagoya
461-8525 JAPAN


(Fri -20:00)
Admission until
30 minutes
before closing


Mondays (Except for National Holidays)

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・5 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
・5 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.