Since I was able to fully establish the visual language of the project last week, I have further developed the components that are supposed to challenge the research or rather refract it. I will include some of the previous research from these components, to make this process more coherent and understandable.
This format took its start in an instagram post of a lovely project that utilised folds as narrative.
The creators of this project were generous enough to have posted a tutorial on how to fold this. Trying this myself and realising how easy it was to embed another dimension to the materiality of the project really spoke to me.
I wanted this component to somehow break up a letter. That it would reveal what the letter was, maybe rather could be.
The first experiments was just to figure out how the composition correlated with the format in printed and then folded. This was mostly for me, since I have a really hard time to understand spatial relationships. I often print test and prototype a lot to ensure I don’t mess up.
The first tests went quite well and I decided to move on to figure out a more explorative content of this format. I was interested in highlighting other modes of communicating the letter. I looked at visualising responses to letters in for example: Breathing, that related to Frederic Goudy’s The Alphabet from 1918. He explains that the letter A is the first symbol in the Phoenician alphabet but it did not represent a vowel–but a breathing. Articulation/mouth and gestures. I also considered including a response from someone with synesthesia, it is a perceptual phenomenon in which sensory or cognitive pathways stimulate each other, they are somehow connected. In practicality this means that when a person looks at a number it might involuntarily trigger a pathway in their brain that makes them experience a second or multiple sensories, such as colours or shapes. This experience of synesthetic perceptions varies individually. I have. a friend who experiences strong synesthesia in relation to letters and numbers. Sign language, braille, soundcloud etc. I experimented a bit with the mouth / articulation.
I then tried to apply the then current colour scale of the project:
However, in a tutorial with Celine she mentioned how this format only suggested one alternative, I realised that all I had done was to position a letter with another mode. I had created a binary relationship and thats how anyone would look at it. I reflected a bit on what the focus of the project is. The focus is the Subiaco and how its despite being created from a humanist approach, the outcome was also largely influenced by the scripts and types from its cultural context.
I tried to touching upon this reflection in practice and made merged letters. I realised that this component could function as an interactive deconstructive moment, where I had the chance to really treat the Subiaco like a near literal prism. I had my collection of traced letters, I printed them quite large and cute them out like stencils.
These merged letters encapsulates the characteristics of all letterforms in the project.
I brought them into the computer and decided to focus on the M for this project. The M was an important letter in early printing. The type’s measurements for spacing were established through the letter M. If the uppercase M measured 12 x 12 points, there was an M quadrat, a square used for spacing, that had those dimensions. Today this is referred to as em quad, maybe more commonly used for the em-dash, for example. Half an M quadrat is an N quadrat, today that is an en quad, so en-dash, for example.
Therefore, the M seemed like an appropriate letter to represent this idea in the project. In a realisation of this project each bundle would have one of these components and what letter was packed with it would vary.
Here are the m’s! They needed to have the same character as the rest of the refracted lens. Meaning, the dotted texture. These were printed in low quality and then photographed up closed to achieve that dotted texture. Then brought into the computer to be purple.
I sketched to figure out a good composition of this format for when it opened. I set a written prompt on the back that gave some context. It said Imagine the Subiaco as a prism through which its related scripts and types were merged and dispersed.
The final outcome of this component related better to the project than previous sketches had. It correlated well with the idea and made for a short amusing moment in the project.
This format would share the same fold as the 260×260. I wanted it to be a response to that particular format. I wanted this component to show a plural of what the 260×260 shows.
During my first experiments this week I looked at ways to communicate that are not written, sign language, oral: talk/singing/etc, sounds.
I tried these concepts in a layout. I had several of each things/concept, but it still did not really responded to the 260×260. I thought about the bridge–the little booklet and how well that literal ‘translation’ of concept had gone. Upon reflection on this I decided to explore how the ‘new concepts’ that were established in the ‘bridging booklet’ could be used in this format, and how they could be refracted.
I found a way to photograph the concepts through a kaleidoscopic lens that gave these fractured results.
I wanted to capture the sense of refraction, a lens that is breaking.
These results aligned much better with the purpose of this format. I tried applying this kaleidoscope lens to the letters from the 260×260 format.
When I saw these letters I realised that I should echo the 260×260 format entirely. The fold with the letters and the fold with the influences, but refracted.
A first (smaller) prototype of the letters of a an A4 purple paper I had at home. I thought I should have responding titles at first. But I actually let that idea go, I didn’t want any prompts for this one. It should be entirely interpretative by the audience.
This format really gave a sense of coming from an alternate place, and echoing the ‘original’ format but in a sort of dismantled way.
Print test and prototype in real size but with white paper. This composition came out great. It has the same diagonal asymmetric composition as the 260×260 format.
I am so glad that these components are done. I have bought purple uncoated paper to print on and will see how that goes. I am quite worried about the 160×160 since that folds out to a 320x320mm format, which I cant fit in an A3, this means that I will have to print it on A4, cut and tape together.