Literature Program

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Technē Institute for Art and Emerging Technologies and Hallwalls present

Finnegans Waves

The 9th Ward at Babeville (open to the public) & Hallwalls cinema (closed performance)

"If we can find the rhythm and make sure that Finnegans Wake is not unreadable, we can enter in the river of life—the riverrun—and let ourselves be carried by the deepest stream of consciousness."

~ Christian Giriat

Finnegans Waves is an artistic and social experiment in reading James Joyce's Finnegans Wake out loud. This event is organized by UB's Technē Institute for Art and Emerging Technologies.

The event will feature two parts, where the audience can choose to be a reader, a listener, or both. On one side, it is a participatory event with a reading machine, based on a community of readers. Finnegans Wake will be read in twelve uninterrupted hours in the original text and in a variety of available translations, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese, among others. The reading will take place under the supervision of the French stage director Christian Giriat.

Simultaneously, there will be a Recirculation Café in The 9th Ward at Babeville, open to the public for the duration of the readings, where—in addition to the streaming reading—lectures, spoken-word performances, and live music, will be offered.

Please Note: while the 12-hour reading will be performed in Hallwalls' cinema space, it will not be open for a live audience and will only be viewable in the Recirculation Café in The 9th Ward via closed-circuit streaming.


All these listed events take place in The 9th Ward at Babeville, and are free and open to the public.

12 Noon–12 Midnight: Live broadcast of Finnegans Wake marathon reading via closed-circuit streaming.

1:00–3:00 p.m. [lecture] Jonathan Reeve, Introduction to Semantic Markup and Computational Analysis of Ulysses.

3:00–5:00 p.m. [lecture] Derek Pyle, Poets, Chart-Toppers, and Weirdos: Setting Finnegans Wake to Music

5:30–6:30 p.m. [lecture] Didier Aschour, John Cage’s Wake—Writing through the music of John Cage—A critical interpretation of Roaratorio

7:00–10:00 p.m., Science & Art Cabaret 20.0.

Reinhard Reitzenstein [artist], on James Joyce’s Thunder Words
• Laurence Shine [Joyce scholar], The Declaration of Or Both: The Id Entity of the Land of Ire
Nils Napp [computational scientist], How to Confuse A.I.
The Vorechestra [live music], A Musical Performance Based Upon the Sonic Structure of Finnegans Wake, featuring Biff Henrich, Cathy Carfagna, Patrick Heyden, Dave Meinzer, & Jeanette Sperhac  

10:30–10:50 p.m. [theatrics] Vincent O’Neill, A Staged Reading of Excerpts from James Joyce’s Ulysses

As detailed above, beginning at 7:00 p.m., while the readings continue and are broadcast closed-circuit to The 9th Ward, a Joyce-themed Science & Art Cabaret will take place, followed by a live performance by Vincent O'Neill, also in The 9th Ward, after which the broadcasted readings will continue in The 9th Ward.

The 9th Ward's cash bar will be open. Light refreshments will be served. 

To participate as a reader in this marathon reading of Finnegans Wake, click here to register.

Based in Avignon and Lyon, Christian Giriat is artist and director. He is one of the founding members of the Théâtre Mobile, France. He has staged more than thirty plays by French and international playwrights. His latest productions are Night Sings Its Songs by Jon Fosse and Homme sans But by Arne Lygre. Together with the visual artist and choreographer Catherine Crochet, he was in residence at the Flaxart Studio in Belfast (Northern Ireland) in 2006 and 2007 and has been going back to work there on a regular basis for his most recent work, An Eyeless City. He has been co-designer with Franck Bauchard and Emmanuel Guez in 2011 of Finnegans Waves, a full and continuous reading of Finnegans Wake written by James Joyce. He is artistic advisor at the "Centre National des Ecritures du Spectacle," La Chartreuse of Villeneuve Lez Avignon.