Week 13: More Moving Type

Immediately after class I spent some time with the referenced works. A few stayed with me over the week:

  • The flying letters and words from Jörg Piringer’s abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz and the opening titles of Barbarella

  • The clever way Ana Maria Uribe uses the shapes of letters as material for animated pictorial compositions/concrete poetry in her Anipoemas

I created these sketches in response:


The word, pop, is an onomatopoeia. It phonetically reminds us of the actual sound it describes. But not necessarily in how it is read. This sketch is an attempt to address and consider the idea that how we read something is also tied to its meaning. How successful is it for you? I’m curious about our instinct to connect and create relationships between anything in front of us—whether that is letters, words, a sequence of photographs, people, etc. The GIF here reduces the animation rate a bit, which I think works wells for this size. For a piece like this it’s worth playing attention to letter density and overall canvas size. Code


Playing with another onomatopoeia, ha ha. Shiffman’s flocking sketch was a quick way to test a mass of moving letters and/or words on the screen, and in this case, as part of simulated flocking behavior. The only user input is dragging the mouse to create more has. This particular form of interaction does not relate to nor enhance the meaning of the piece. However, I’d argue that laughter is contagious and comes in waves within a crowd and this reminds me of that. Code


Intrigued by how Oren converted glyph paths into polygons last week, I played around with his code and modified it such that the vertices of each letter disappear over time. The GIF above is a high speed version. Ideally this happens so slowly that you barely notice. At what point do you realize that it’s different? In general I’m curious about perception of incremental change over time. Code

Final Project Idea: To elaborate on movable type to create concrete poems from letterforms and/or words. I have this vague idea of creating objects from individuals letters, words, or the geometric forms of letter shapes to push around the page and break free of traditional left-to-right display along horizontal lines. But oh geez, how will this be different from a refrigerator of word magnets? Ideally, the method of interaction connects to the meaning of the work and does not remind people of refrigerators nor magnets.