weekly self-defined exercises [12 total]. We have discussed content areas in class and I have posted some additional comments
on how this project will be conducted. You will turn in one artifact each week [see schedule]. These exercises should not be laborious. They should be immediate, viceral, and in our face. Do not make this project anything other than the one thing during the week that changes the pace of everything else. Got it? You should’nt be sure about it—it should make you nervous, but you should be willing to slap it on the wall with the greatest of force. This project gives you the opportunity to explore a broad range of issues while considering a collective series by the end of the semester. I expect meandering fits and starts, failures, and nonsensical dead-ends, but boredom shall not be found here. If you require additional direction on this stage of the assignment, please feel free to ask.
bitmap typeface design. Begin by developing one base-7 face and one with a base of your choosing. Your base-7 face must be 7 units high but can exceed 7 units wide. A unit is defined as one black [no grayscale] square. You should be able to identify obvious directions / solutions—steer clear of these and attempt to design something beyond the norm. This may prove to be a challenge for your base-7 face. Try an italic version of your face—this should prove to open up how you approach / define readability. Develop multiple alternate characters without nailing down any one particular direction early on in the process—keep it open. You may find one or two letterforms taking you in a new direction.
You will present multiple rough iterations of your designs over the course of the semester. Please take into account how you can best present the characteristics of each face. Generally you will present your face in a small sample poster but you are welcome to present it as a motion piece, small booklet, etc. Presentation—ahh, yes! Always include a set of characters at 100% scale [base-7 at 7px high]. You do not need to design more than one case unless you feel inspired to do so—upper, lower, or unicase—choose one. That is all for now. We will review this step of the assignment at midterm and move on from there. Please let me know if you have any questions up to this point.
Project Three, Part One:
Using bitmap letterforms designed in project two, animate a conjunction [and, or, but, ...]. Animate the conjunction bit by bit—not as a complete letterform. Mutate and modulate your word liberally. Your face may change weight, scale—it may become another face. Work only with black and white [no grayscale]. Set your file up as 640 x 480 or 720 x 540 so you may render it without loss in the future. For critique you may render it out at half scale. Final duration and use of sound are open.
Project Three, Part Two:
You will build on variables—gesture, duration, sound, temporal and spatial contrasts— and personal approaches developed in your bitmap choreography as refined in Part One of the project. What key sensitivities made for an engaging work? What devices did you employ? What was the role of repetition, pacing, the word, the letter, syntax, sequence? How was message developed and conveyed—was it?
The primary goal is to explore a synthesis of analog and digital means. Think of mixing and filtering where the action doesn’t occur in the computer—it takes place when your image moves from the analog to the digital and vice versa. Here is a hypothetical sequence of filtering: videotape words as they are typed on a computer screen, project that image on a projection screen while you wave the screen slightly and record the resulting mix, then digitize the footage and posterize it (thanks to Tyler Walters for the example). This example begins with a computer generated image. You should also consider beginning with physical objects—pages of type run through a shredder, bent in the light, burned, melted, dissolved, etc.
What does the computer do well? Generate multiples, produce digital artifacting (think JPEG compression), modulate color HSL, generate wireframe image, etc. What does the video camera do well? Capture subtle / natural motion and complex textures where light and shadow play across physical forms, etc.
Spend some time considering your filtering options. How can you project, capture, and manipulate in both digital and analog? Must you construct 5 foot letters, project your image on a sea of people, collage bits of text to build little environments with little type collage people that you animate in stop frame (with a little type collage camera)?
Requirements: no less than 10 initial studies (5-15 sec.) These will get you into the groove. Use any text you please, but choose it well—remember the discussion on Sarah’s range of words? How do individual words open or close meaning? How do they direct meaning? One final work no less than 2 min in duration. Text is your choice here as well, but you must exhibit an understanding of what works best in motion and time. Long texts? Dialog from film, theater? Lists? I will be looking for a clear rationale as to your choice in text. You should also make a diary / sketchbook of your process on this stage of the project. Record your findings, experiments, questions. Set files up at min. of 640 x 480.
interactive typography / tba