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"language" Category


NU- A N C – ES OF NO.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

giphy 2

 

The book design has a strange appeal;

boring Facebook blue and random pages in between. Unsettling uppercase letters of split up words all over one page, very prose looking straight aligned text on the other. A woman holding a picture of another woman lying naked under a zebra. Low resolution smiley face.

 

Nuances_of_no_5Nuances_of_no_4

 

Hanne Lippard graduated Rietveld as a graphic designer, but then carried her words from printed matter to sound files and live performance. ‘Nuances of No’ is her book, a collection of written work released in 2013. In making the book, she designs her own content, which allows her to create a similar voice to her sound work.

Visual information like spaces provoke silences in the readers head voice.

By the placement of the words on the page in relation to each other, or switching or removing letters and making slip of the tongues, she also plays with language, takes attention to sounds and stretches their meanings.

(variations)

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As your eye is guided through the page, text sounds like poetry.

(every word)

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The design of the word becomes the form of her voice.

In her spoken works she has a monotone, articulate, clean and soft tone which is robotic yet sounds as if it could be coming from somewhere inside your head.
This similar feeling is present in the book as well, this time through the colour of Facebook; trustworthy, artificial and sort of anonymous. Some pages in between have pixelated smiley faces and click button images taking the reader into a virtual world context, which adds to the atmosphere she creates.

(underscore)

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The design of Hanna Lippard [x] serves to vocalize her written thought in ‘nuances of no’; making the words surround the reader in the mind.

(echo)

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One or two voices.

(goodbye)

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*soundfiles are readings from the book in my voice. only (echo) is my words in my voice.

 

 

Nuances of no. /Rietveld library catalogue no : lippa 1

Programming language as a System of Thought


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

by Medeina Musteikyte

From a conventional viewpoint programming is a process of command execution that brings about a certain result; a problem-solving tool to produce a desired outcome. Aside from its practical usage, coding is expanding to a different sphere of interpretation where new meanings gained, outgrow its primary function.
My essay examines the role of non-function oriented programming, the artistic value of the concepts behind works of code and experimental programming languages. An overview of examples from Algorithmic Auction to ‘Esolangs’ — Esoteric Programming Languages is questioning the boundaries between programming and artistic practice and exploring the creative potential of such method.

bodyfuck – undo from nik hanselmann on Vimeo.

 

A work of code can acquire different forms and exist as an object, text or music piece gaining new definitions and material qualities.

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Likewise conceptual programming languages can be perceived and interpreted by their instructions alone, without executing a command or using a computer. Designed for experience of thinking through them, esolangs unfold the confrontation of computer logic and human thinking in the most rational or the most absurd processes [x].

Sound file: castleman_css_descramble

 

pdf-scan_cover [click on image] to download thesis by Medeina Musteikyte

all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016 : http://medeina.xyz/

 
 

Approaching the Archive


Sunday, December 11, 2016

‘Approaching the Archive’ begins from a coincidence that becomes an unexpected point of access to the archive and book collection of artist, writer, editor and graphic designer Will Holder, in the context of his exhibition ‘Sorry! NO we don’t do REQUESTS’ at Kunstverein in Amsterdam.

The essay deals with the successful as well as the unsuccessful attempts at trying to grasp a lot of material in a little space, and the systems that one makes up in order to organize and process content through. Moreover, it is an essay about books and the stories and associations they convey, as well as it is about the finding of an unexpected relationship between ‘typography’ and ‘topography’.

Will Holder click on the image to download the pdf

WHERE DID YOU HIDE THE GUN?


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

text by Celina Yavelow

 

Guilty_Screen Shot

She changes this thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and she changes this other thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and then she tells all this the way it happens to some others and they think it is funny, but the other hears it and does not think it is funny, but can’t change it back.

The Other, by Lydia Davis

 

Loaded Language

 

The fact that language can change a state being is pretty much wow to me. Say the word and there’s a chance something will change: your insides start hurting (“Cunt”), you’re suddenly single again (“I’m breaking up with you”), or forced into a guilty state (“You’re under arrest”). The load in this kind of language is taken literally here, considering the body not only as the agent for speech, but also as physically subject to the force and effect of loaded language — realizing you can actually do things with words, and realizing also, that its authority can be both threatening and empowering.

Complex_Screen Shot

This thesis is titled Where did you hide the gun? because it’s a famous example of a question deliberately loaded by its formulation. It does not ask if there is a gun, but ensues there is, and where did you hide it? According to the question you’re already guilty of the shot — regardless (“POW POW!”). I’ve connected this mechanism to a term in language philosophy and theater studies called performative speech utterance, which is quite a tough shoe to chew, so my theoretical framing is constantly interrupted by metaphoric associations and a fictional narrative, offering a melodramatic illustration of the concepts employed.

And_Screen Shot

Meanwhile, I became completely hooked to the thought that language can be so directive, that we are so easily affected, seduced or tricked by it. I continued my research in a sound piece called Hi, Mary, which was set out to be a subjective audio tour of a small part of the GRA graduation show of 2015, but was mostly exploring this reflex in our body to surrender to a voice and its language. Listen to it here!
Sound file: Hi-Mary

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650-Celina_Yavelow_LS_05_low_res audiotour at Rietveld graduation show

 

the thesis
The subject –loaded language– is in itself interesting. But what makes the thesis original and engaging is the way in which she approaches the subject - a mix of various types of material (film, language philosophy, literature, current events, memories) and registers (short story, academic prose, interview, collaged/found text), all capably, impressively intertwined. Yavelow presents the reader with both basic and not-so-basic linguistic concepts, each of which she proceeds to explore through various perspectives.
The writing process is thus integral to the subject matter. The bluntness of certain images (for example guns) and juxtapositions (for example romance with guilt) is largely offset by the assured writing style. A range of literary devices are used to good effect: repetition, sentence fragments, double meanings, omission of conjunctions. An enjoyable, kaleidoscopic read.
[text by Louis Luthï]

Screen shot 2016-05-15 at 3.23.50 PM download this thesis by Celina Yavelow

 

Hardly readable – A graphic translation, the sound as a last abstraction


Sunday, February 21, 2016

 
 
 
 

A translation of roman letters into graphics and a translation of these graphics into sound. What happens if a language is changed into a system that we all have to learn new? A system that defines roman letters in new ways. Therefore a first abstraction into graphics and a last abstraction from the graphics into sound. Both, the individual graphics as well as the sounds can be connected and therefore they can create words in the level of language. To what extent is that still readable? Is our visual dialect able to understand that? And if we are able to read the graphics as new letters, can we associate them with new sound that is creating a virtual language that is not spoken?

 
 
 
 

AZART

 
 

AZ-art is about the art from A to Z by belgian Guy Rombouts. It is an alphabet translated into graphics. Each letter gets a fixed graphic. If the letters create one word the graphics create one cloud. That means that there are certain combinations between the graphics that are approximately working in the same way as certain combinations between letters in a font (space, connection etc.). Instead of one-dimensional strings the alphabet combines words as two-dimensional objects. With the use of different colours for each graphic the combination appears much stronger than a written text. If there appears a space that separates two words in the graphic translation it appears a second layer and therefore it becomes a third dimension when words create a sentence. The words are translated into new associations.

 

Writing Down And Reading Aloud

 

Questioning the system of a new graphic language means to make a connection to our understanding. How do we perceive things? How do we actually start learning to understand what we perceive? Being alive with the knowledge of speaking and listening, we learn our visual dialect as a second language. This second language is learnt by translation: writing down what is spoken and reading aloud what is written. Our roman letters are carrying petrified leftovers of a long historical development – connected to pre-alphabetic times. Therefore many people are questioning them for an efficient design. Also Chinese politicians and teachers were trying to simplify the logographic of the Chinese alphabet. What is a graphic translation about? In “Phonographic Translation” by W Haas it is explained that a worker in Tientsin needed half a year for learning the Chinese characters and he still could not remember them. These three characters represented just three works that he had to use every day. Chinese pupils have to learn the first One-Thousand Characters in primary school. Basically a contemporary graphic translation of a language is about the simplification of a language.

 

The AZ-art is about the transformation in two directions: X axis and Y axis

 

Every graphic is defined by an individual shape and colour. My description of the colours of the graphic alphabet is based on Goethe’s colour theory. I used the definition of red, blue, green and yellow and brought them in connection with the RGB-Values of each graphic.

 

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Goethe’s colour theory

 

|||||||||| Because of its high dignity is is sometimes called crimson (even if this is actually drawn into the blue). By increasing the two poles (yellow and blue) to red an association, tranquilizers or gratification takes place. It gives an impression of seriousness and dignity and also of kindness and grace. Through a crimson glass one sees a well-lit landscape in a terrible light.

|||||||||| It is the color of the dark. It is a color energy and the highest purity a lovely Nothing. It seems to recede (the distant mountains can be seen in blue). It is pleasant to look at, there is a feeling of cold and reminiscent of a shadow. Although Blue rooms seem far, but cold and empty. Blue light is changing your mood into sadness. If blue is touched on its plus side it is pleasant.

|||||||||| It is the colour that is nearest to light. It has a serene, cheerful, gentle property. As gold it has a splendid and noble effect. It makes a warm and comfortable impression and in Painting it is used to illuminate. Howerver yellow is very sensitive and gets an unpleasant effect when it is dirtied or pulled into minus. Then it becomes the colour of shame, disgust and displeasure.

 
 

The sound as a last abstraction

 

As an outgoing sound I decided for the Wobble Bass with a 25% Filter Reso. Each graphic is based on this sound and is transformed in its visual appearance. That means that e.g. letter X is not transformed because it is a linear graphic. In its tone middle e.g. the filter frequency of letter N is transformed (30-90 Hz). The filter frequency of letter C is transformed (30-155 Hz) from the beginning to the end of the tone. Letter B is showing the strongest hearable difference. Because of its graphic the transformation of the outgoing bass has 4 high distances and 4 low distances. That means that the Filter Reso is 4 times transformed to 70% and 4 times to 0%. The filter frequency is 30.

Next to these 4 letters I also translated the 3 AZART- Options of a black, grey and white environment into sound. My research is ending with a playlist that I uploaded on SoundCloud. There you can find the sound of 4 single letters, the 3 environments and the combination of the 4 letter with each environment. These sounds are produced in a collaboration with Alexander Köppel (Exchange Student GRA – Inter-Architecture).

 

 
 

Subordination to the tool


Friday, February 19, 2016

« Biff » is a typeface, created in 1999 by Swedish designer Jonas Williamsson for the Lineto type foundry. Jonas Williamsson is part of the art and design collective REALA.

“Biff” is a font based on the aesthetic of the early (80’s-90’s) NYC graffiti, the description of the font on the Lineto website mentions in a direct way the throw-up graffiti style as main reference.

typo-biff.jpg
BIFF - by Jonas Williamsson

Big, simple and round letters were very common at that time, when the material available and the circumstances it took place in did not allow graffiti writers to do complex and precise pieces. Before it became the well documented worldwide culture it now is, graffiti started as a way for young uneducated urban populations to leave a trace of their existence or for gangs to mark their territory. Subways became the main vector of this « street signalization » because they travelled the city, passing from a neighborhood to another, going from the projects of the Bronx, to the wealthy streets of the Upper West Side.


80's graffiti on NYC's subway

This local phenomenon has been well documented at the time (1983) in the famous movie “Style Wars

In this context, the visibility and the ability to be easily read and recognized while using basic high-pressure spray-cans and painting fast in order to avoid getting arrested was more important than a proper styling of the letters, giving birth to the « bubble » style, also called « throw-ups ».

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Throw-up style nowadays

Hand writing and drawing symbols are very ancient and codified practices, present for thousands or more years in the Western countries as well as in Asia or in the Arabic world. In Europe calligraphic handwriting based on the ancient Greek and cursive Roman scripts developed in the Middle-Age (around 600 AD) by Monks, using tools such as brushes or calligraphic pens on parchment, which allowed the writer to give a lot of contrast to his letters (switching between more thin or thick lines within the same letter). These tools and the calligraphic use that was made of them gave birth to Gothic typefaces, that can be recognized by their large amount of angles and ligatures. The first bible Gutenberg printed was made using Textura characters (also called “Blackletter”). Although cut from wood the letters still resemble hand writing. Gutenberg even enhanced that feeling by cutting the letters with small variations.


Detail of Gutenberg's bible

Amador
Textura Gothic Font

At the end of the Twentieth century, while New-York’s graffiti scene was getting a lot of attention from the medias and artistic world, influencing the arrival of similar movements (in style and in attitude) all around the world (especially in European capitals such as Paris, London or Copenhagen), writers in Sao-Paulo started developing a singular approach of this practice. Influenced by the artworks of heavy-metal bands coming from the West, they reinterpretate these Gothic typefaces (which are less and less used all around the world, exception made for these confidential subcultures) by using a mono-linear tool (spray paint) that does not allow any variation in the thickness of the line. Even their approach of graffiti writing and tagging is different than in New-York where it was all about the signature.

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Heavy metal artwork

Sao-Paulo writers (also called « Pixadores ») are closer to a classical writing logic, rather than a signing logic, copying an ancient font and paying a lot of attention to the space between letters and lines. The surfaces they choose to write on are also quite peculiar. By climbing and risking their lives, the Picadores draw their letters in a systematic and performative way on the faces of the tall buildings and towers of the city, creating impressive compositions, each group or individuals passing one after the other on a same spot.

In the same way “Style Wars” documented New-York graffiti scene, a movie like “Pixadores”  is a historically significant trace of Sao-Paulo’s writing phenomenon.

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Tagged wall in Sao Paulo

Nowadays, typography is still developed based on classical calligraphy and Latin capitals, using the shape and contrast of regular calligraphic pens, while the worldwide writing practice is mainly made using mono-linear tools like BIC pens or round-tip markers. This gap between a common contemporary behavior and the survival of this old way of dealing with typography is very real.

A typeface like Gerard Unger’s « Flora » however, is an attempt to approach typography in a more contemporary way (the letters are based on his own hand writing). The website myfonts.com also released an interview with Gerard Unger, a dutch designer who studied and taught for a long time at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. More famous typefaces are designed based on this more contemporary technique of writing like Din Mittelschrift [x] or even Helvetica rounded [x]

handmade-bic-textura

The above handmade transformation of a classic fractur and a textura letter type with my Bic pen illustrates clearly what happens when old calligraphic letterforms are re-written with modern writing tool [x]


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