Beyond the Gallery

This website is an extension of the University of Victoria’s exhibit entitled, “The Long Now of Ulysses,” which will open on May 17th, 2013 in the school’s Maltwood Gallery.

My project invites participants to read Ulysses in terms of their everyday. In the months leading up to the exhibit I have crowdsourced readings of the algorithmically selected excerpts of Ulysses that will appear in the gallery space. The project makes an effort to expand the intertextual possibilities of Ulysses and arrive at ways of contextualizing the novel that both supplement the original historical context of the novel and depart from it. Contributors were invited to link an aspect of the excerpt to the contemporary everyday using the media of their choice to accent their commentary. Responses were plotted on a timeline, which displays the various ways readers interpret Joyce’s allusions in a contemporary context.

Want to participate?

I will continue to accept responses for the duration of the exhibit; responses will contribute to rotating content that will appear in the gallery space. Just tell me how Ulysses figures in your everyday!

I am currently accepting responses for Nausicaa.

Below is the prompt I have been using to solicit responses from readers across the globe:

In Ulysses James Joyce presents his readers with a broad range of intertexts that situate them in the midst of a dizzying web of rapidly proliferating allusions.

Since the Twentieth Century, a number of social, political, cultural and economic upheavals in conjunction with rapid technological developments have shifted contemporary conceptions of temporality. In the digital age, our mediums for communication are increasingly referential. We are able to arrange and navigate information at an accelerated rate and with growing ease. Today you have the potential to read and exchange more information than would have been possible during the early Twentieth Century. As a result, our conceptualization of temporality is compressed.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Ulysses resonates with a contemporary audience that continues to experience a sense of bewilderment brought on by the rapid industrialization, nascent globalization and sizeable economic shifts of the Twentieth Century.

This project strives to point to some of the ways in which the past continues to figure prominently in contemporary life. Brian Eno refers to our inability to escape the past as “The Long Now.” By annotating an excerpt of Ulysses, you will situate Joyce’s modernist icon at the centre of our own web of allusive media.

In Ulysses, Joyce explores the hours in a typical day. Now it’s your turn to mark the minutes and stimulate the seconds by drawing connections to elements of your everyday. Your commentary will then contribute to a repository that tracks the vibrant and multifarious afterlives of Ulysses, and will be displayed as part of the online portion of the University of Victoria’s forthcoming exhibit, “The Long Now of Ulysses.” Additionally, responses that really impress us will contribute to content displayed in the school’s Maltwood Gallery! We expect over 10,000 visitors as Congress 2013 will be held at the University of Victoria during the month of June. So, as Stephen Dedalus would say, “be just before you are generous.”

Making a contribution is simple: choose a photo, video, quote, map, article, wiki, blog, or any piece of digital media from life after Ulysses (1922-present) that you can relate to the randomly selected excerpt of the novel. Next, give a brief rationale (2-3 sentences) for your choice. Remember to work only with the excerpt provided!

For example, at the mention of “hoof-and-mouth disease” you might draw a connection to eruptions of hoof and mouth disease that have occurred since the early Twentieth Century, or you may want to link to a news article you have read recently that discusses the detrimental effects of globalization.


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