Archive for the ‘alphabet’ Category

reading traces

November 25, 2009

“Writing, like human language, is engendered not only within the human community but between the human community and the animate landscape, born of the interplay and contact between the human and the more than human world. The earthly terrain in which we find ourselves, and upon which we depend from our nourishment, is shot through with suggestive scrawls and traces, from the sinuous calligraphy of rivers winding across the land, inscribing arroyos and canyons into the parched earth of the desert, to the black slash burned by lightning into the trunk of an old elm. The swooping flight of birds is a kind of cursive script written on the wind; it is this script that was studied by the ancient “augurs” who could read therein the course of the future. Leaf-miner insects make strange hieroglyphic tabloids of the leaves they consume. Wolves urinate on specific stumps and stones to mark off their territory. And today you read these printed words as tribal hunters once read the tracks of deer, moose, and bear printed in the soil of the forest floor. Archaeological evidence suggests that for more than one million years the subsistence of humankind has depended upon the acuity of such hunters, upon their ability to read the traces – a bit of scat here, broken twig there – of these animal Others. These letters I print across the page, the scratches and scrawls you now focus upon, trailing off across the white surface, are hardly different from the footprints of prey left in the snow. We read these traces with organs honed over millennia by our tribal ancestors moving instinctively from one track to the next, picking up the trail afresh whenever it leaves off, hunting the meaning, which would be the meeting with the Other.”

This is a quote from David Abram (1996) The Spell of the Sensuous. New York, Random House. To him the alphabet “is a strange and potent technology”.

cryptic messages

October 17, 2009

transkrypt.de

On Transcrypt.de by Frank Baranowski you can find a description for exercises in designing mysterious fonts, derived from known latin scripts, which do not mean anything,  see Kryptic 1 and Kryptic2.

Meanwhile I read on Popular Mechanics that the poster for Lost’s final season contains hieroglyphics. Dr. James Allen, Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and Chair of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University analyzed the symbols and had this answer: “The hieroglyphs spell out two Egyptian words, meaning ‘Who is the guide?’ or ‘Who is the leader?”

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via educating alice

terrors of the alphabet

May 2, 2009

terrors

from cabanonpress

 

tangled alphabets

May 1, 2009
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Detail from Letter to a Genera 1963, by Leon Ferrari

Tangled Alphabets is a current exhibition at the MOMA in New York about the work of Mira Schendel and León Ferrari, There is also a publication. 

León Ferrari (Argentine, b. 1920) and Mira Schendel (Brazilian, b. Switzerland, 1919–1988) are considered among the most significant artists working in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century. Their works address language as a major visual subject matter: the visual body of language, the embodiment of voices as words and gestures, and language as a metaphor of the worldly aspect of human existence through the eloquence of naming and writing. They produced their works in the neighboring countries of Argentina and Brazil throughout the 1960s and 1980s, when the question of language was particularly central to Western culture due to the central role taken by post-structuralism, semiotics, and the philosophy of language. Although their drawings, sculptures, and paintings are contemporary with the birth of Conceptualism, they are distinctively different, and have not yet been exhibited in their entirety in the United States.

The exhibition can be viewed in detail also through an interactive flash site.

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Detail from Objetos Graficos by Mira Schendel, 1972

This piece is really a sculpture, and should be seen large. I love the way the alphabet swirls out of the vortex, a galaxy in the making, a big bang. In biblical cosmology “in the beginning there was the word,” in Asian cosmology in the beginning there was the sound, the AUM. Here we have vision of how the language and signs came into being.

The Letter to the General above is beautiful piece of calligraphy in an imaginary script as a part of a series of “deformed writing”. It reminds me of “pretend writing” – emergent writing of children. Apparently the artist said “it is difficult to write a ‘logical’ letter to a general” so there we have a play with nonsense and mystery.

See also Shaker visual poetry, love letters and the slow act of writing.

type pantry

April 25, 2009

pantry

from samiare   click to see large here

alphabet

April 10, 2009

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A set of delightful alphabet illustrations by Paul Thurlby can be found on Flickr. It is still a work in progress – I am looking forward to see it completed.

typographic trees

March 25, 2009

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tony green – accumulations & rosemary and other tony green work in this set from jim leftwich’s photostream

On a larger scale is the work of Gordon Young and why not associates – a series of typographic tree sculptures situated throughout the library building in Crawley.

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See and read more on CR Blog:  A Library Full of Dead Trees and here at whynotassociates.com.

free words

March 20, 2009

free-706859Douglas Wilson writes about primary school children making class projects based on ideas of his art work. I can well imagine children enjoying the anarchic destruction of a oh so holy book – a dictionary – in order to print their own stuff on top. “This is printed on dictionary paper. The young artists thought this was too cool. They loved the new use for the dictionary.”

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Here is the online gallery of the Shamrock Springs Art Classroom

alphabet

February 18, 2009

timfishlock-alphabet

I know there are hundreds of fonts out there, but his alphabet by Tim Fishlock is just great. I cannot help it, it just makes me smile. In it’s entirety only, to contemplate the nature of letters, words and meaning.


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