Re: [-empyre-] context of text

on 24/5/03 04:19 PM, hazel smith at wrote:

>> The poetics of typeforms, hieroglyphics, calligraphy, drawing. I'd like to
>> see typeforms that respond to the feelings of the viewer, that respond
>> dynamically to the message in the text, that speak when touched, like brail
>> ...
>> Barrie I thought this sounded fascinating Barrie, thanks so much -have you
>> tried to do it? If not, do you  have any ideas about how it could be done?
> Hazel
I wish I could say that I have come across some of the above techniques or
methods. Certainly there are brail typewriters, and mechanical brail readers
that you rest your fingers on to receive dynamic input via tiny mechanical
knobs, a bit like dot matrix data for the blind.

typeforms that respond to the feelings of the viewer:
I haven't seen anything like this yet. biofeedback could work, perhaps
haptics, an infrared camera. Some kind of link that would provide
,emotional/affective, interaction. I remember reading about some work that
was done on the typing habits of keyboard users, the typing habits of
different users partly revealed their personality, I think it was in
relation to some kind of surveillance issue, but I could be wrong. The thing
is if this could be done then software could be written to enable machine
response to say a chat scenario, a bit like that program Lisa, Aliza, can't
remember the correct name. It uses a database of responses that cause the
user to think that they are getting human like responses to their input.

that respond dynamically to the message in the text:
A grammar interpreter? Keywords and phrases, then dynamic feedback to alter
a letterform's shape, weight etc. You would need a typeface who's character
outlines and other characteristics would be accessible and dynamically
changeable. A postscript typeface was designed some time back that had a
built in random character outline generator. Each time the typeface was
printed the outline of each character displayed a slightly different
agitated path. I'll try and find a ref to this, I think it was in a WIRED

that speak when touched:
This could be interesting, obviously the first thing that comes to mind is
computer generated speech and the ability of most computers these days to
read out loud onscreen text. But voice is important, the nuances of speech,
inflection. Can you imagine a war memorial where the voices of the soldiers
could be heard when their names were touched, that would tell their stories
... The linking of tactility with the voice would provide a startling

All of these things are only technique, where they acquire meaning is when
they are employed by an artist as part of an artwork, that goes without
saying I guess. But technique is fun to explore.

Heres an alphabet you can push around, from the wonderful MIT Media Lab,
John Maeda et al:

And another from David Lu, works via keyboard interaction:

John Maeda of the MIT Media Lab made a game some time back called Tap, Type,
Write, one of his Reactive Book series. it has several interactive text
features, interaction is via keyboard. There is a rather interesting book by
Maeda; Maeda @ Media, well worth a look re text/type and other things.


Barrie Collins, Carl and Lillian Frieden-Collins
7 Blaxland Avenue, Leura NSW 2780
Tel + Fax: 02 4784 1224
Mobile: 0418 394 234
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