Asemic Writing

Computational Approaches to Typography

05 Nov 2018

This week’s assignment was to create a work based on asemic writing. During the lecture I was particularly inspired by Vera Molnar’s work. Both the story of Lettres de ma mère (Molnar ‘87) and the aesthetic compelled me to create a work that responded to Molnar.

Other recurring motifs for me have been geodesic and polygonal structures. The works and words of Buckminster Fuller have been a source of inspiration for me. He talks a lot about DIY culture, technology, and societal overhaul and I think that he will be huge inspiration throughout my studies and experimentation at itp.

The construction of Molnar’s piece kind of reminded me of soundwaves, and I thought that using the visual representation of sound could be conducive to generating a visual piece that looked like asemic writing.

The idea of making nonsense text from real words was kind of compelling in a kind of chicken and the egg scenario since a lot of what we talked about in class was the construction of language and it’s representation.

However I wanted to avoid simply showing sound levels or a simple sound visualization. I decided to use FFT analysis which shows the spectrum of sound waves. However the problem with only using fft analysis is that it returns the spectrum of a given moment of sound.

To make each “word” I use sound levels to find pauses which I used to differentiate spoken words. I used fft to analyze the average of that word segment. Finally I used a curved vertex to draw the lines to the screen.

View the results here:

image of output


code: link to github repo