Stephanie Dinkins

Stephanie Dinkins

Stephanie Dinkins
Associate Professor

#WhenWordsFail, 2020, WebXR experience

#WhenWordsFail is a WebXR experience that creates space for the nonverbal expression of feelings bubbling just below the surface.  

Sometimes language is not the best tool of expression. Words are often inadequate to express the depth, often invisible impact of our experiences.   What happens when words are not enough?  How do you express yourself? How is meaning made and understood?

#WhenWordsFail provides space to add expression to public discourse. Visitors to the piece encounter Professor Commander Justice (PCJ), who offers a gesture born of the times. Visitors can use their webcams to contribute to the environment.  Each video contribution from the public appears in the WebXR environment and adds to an expanding cacophony of suprarational gestures.  

It is easy to believe that words are the pinnacle of human expression. Art, song, dance, gesture, ritual, sport, stillness, violence, letting go, and so on,  can invite and allow for expression that is more unbiased and open to interpretation than words typically do. Language can be powerful, but so too are other means of human expression.

Meaning is made and found in many different forms. #WhenWordsFail honors ways of knowing and feeling often masked by the perceived efficiency of words.  It is a collective argument and evidence for the way we are feeling now. 


  • Length of the experience: 2 minutes 15-seconds plus interaction
  • 360 look around: WebXR // 360 Cinema
  • Positional sound
  • Volumetric Video 
  • 2D graphics as supporting elements in the environment.