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Letters are Media, Words are Collage: Writing Images through A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six
Message (Message Research Group, Plymouth University, UK) (2015)
  • Jessica S Barness
In a digital space, text is fluid and may be expressed through a spatially flexible and kinetic combination of written, visual and audial media. These texts may be represented in ways that move beyond words or letterforms. This challenges the nature of alphabetic representation and has the potential to lead toward new forms of communication. A (Dis) Connected Twenty-Six is an interface developed by this author to explore the extent to which an alternative, digital alphabet system may be used to ‘write images’ in a screen-based environment. The project is comprised of a media database, a text entry field and a screen space that serves as an empty stage. When a user enters written text of their choice on screen, letters are converted to images and sounds, and the screen becomes a playground for composing new personalised messages. Morse code is used as a conceptual and functional bridge between text entry and audio-visual media. Though the project contains audio, it is primarily focused on text as a mode of interaction, reconstructing written language in a way that is visually configured according to user input. The project is an inquiry on how these visual messages relate back to a user’s original text, and what might be learned through the process of composing and the resulting collage-like products. In this paper, the project is situated in historical and contemporary contexts, and then detailed in terms of its design. The study continues with analysis of collage compositions made by users and concludes with reflections on the project as a whole.
  • Participatory Design,
  • Interaction Design,
  • Typography,
  • Interface Design,
  • Collage
Publication Date
Citation Information
Barness, J. (2015). Letters are Media, Words are Collage: Writing Images through A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six. Message, edition 2, 46-53.