The Paleontology of Chris Wildrick Is Overrated: Time Trials, interactive performance, performed at the Redhouse and XL Projects, Syracuse, NY, and the Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, NY; installed at the Museum of the Earth, 2010

Participants were given a list of 30 dinosaur names, selected for their complex spelling and confusing pronounciation. The challenge was to read all the names aloud as quickly as possible.

Audio of each contestant's attempt may be found below, along with their official time. (Some recordings are easier to hear than others due to the interference of background noise.) Due to the large number of recordings, it may take a bit of time to load them all. This page works better on Chrome or Safari and less well on Firefox.

This challenge not only tests how easily people can pronounce these complex names, but also gives a sense of how people think they are pronounced. Dinosaur names are chimeric fabrications from many languages, including Greek, Latin, Chinese, and people's own names, so there really is no one way to say them correctly; dinosaur books routinely give different "official" pronounciations of even the most popular names.


The Contestants, in order from shortest to longest:



















The list of dinosaur names can be found here. See if you can beat these times! If you record yourself and send Chris an audio file, he will post it along with the others.


The project was installed on an iPod; audience members could scroll through and play the various attempts aloud. It was installed along with Artist Interviews, with which it also shared an explanatory poster, seen above. The poster can be downloaded in PDF format here:


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