Morse Matrix is a digitally remediated Morse code message, transmitting an encoded letter back to the people of 1914. It is an effort at connecting the technologies of that period with those they gave rise to today, along with the histories of conflict that have driven both. Moreover, it meditates on the odd poignancy of how electronic communications, as both code and infrastructure, become key channels through which rivers of emotional energy are compressed into abstract signals – whether heartfelt telegrams from a century ago, or the video calls of today. It was decided that no indication should be provided as to the actual contents of the letter, and so allowing it to express all the myriad electronic messages that traversed the world of 1914 to 1918.
This piece was commissioned by the Canadian artist and poet Dr. Suzanne Steele for her major project The Long Goodbye: A Conversation across a Century. This project commemorated the Centenary of the start of the First World War, inviting members of the public to attend creative writing workshops and pen personal letters back to its participants, without the benefit of hindsight. These letters were all digitised subsequently, and have been made available on the project website.
Morse Matrix was exhibited as part of the official opening of the The Long Goodbye public installation at the University of Exeter in August 2014, and has been presented at various events subsequently. It acted as a precursor to an ongoing series of related pieces entitled Solid State Poetry.