WRTFollowing on the same theme of Amaztype is the creative software called TypeDrawing, released Jan 2005 by Hansol Huh. Huh has created a program that writes the words you enter on whatever angle you draw them. As you can see with my unimaginative rendition of WRT the initials are spelled out with the entire words. Others have ventured further and are viewable in a gallery on the site. You can upload your images and view their creation as an animation.

Obviously this sort of thing has been done a million times over the decades but I found the animation of the peice created quite interesting. I could see how others drew their shape and I felt admiration for their apparent skill. I didn’t see the scrunched nose as they concentrated, though, or hear the expletives as a corner is too sharp or the silence of no exhale because they’re not breathing. But I did see which part of the picture was created first, which second and which were singular sweeping gestures. I found that as compelling as the final point of the artwork.

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3 Responses to “TypeDrawing”

  1. 1 Mark Marino

    I like this one because it parallels the work of botmasters making their chatbots. The text “I am a chatbot” becomes the face of a chatbot, just as the customized responses in an A.L.I.C.E., or other chatbot, will become the persona of an autonomous agent. Also, we do not make chatbots necessarily. We make systems that will create the impression of the bot through its interaction with the user and the program. The user must interact with this doodle to decide where “I” begins and the “chatbot” ends. When they succeed, they say in their minds that they are a chatbot.

  2. 2 Jeremy Douglass

    As I understand it, TypeDrawing as a particular brushwork aesthetic - width as a way of indicating gestural acceleration. Thus

    slow mouse = timid gesture = small type
    fast mouse = bold gesture = large type

    This works in brushwork if the fast hand is also a pressing hand - that is, in some ways this is a substitute for a pressure-sensitive tablet interface. On the other hand, I wonder about wiring the algorith the opposite way, as if it were a drippy watercolor brush:

    slow gesture = spreading drip = large type
    fast gesture = light smear = small type

    I find the equivalency between speed and font size more interesting than the kind of equivalency, I suppose. I haven’t played with Illustrator for a while, but don’t most vector graphics suites with pressure tablet support allow you to do something like this kind of “font brush”? If this is a web-reimplementation of just one such feature, I suppose this would go towards Lev Manovich’s arguments that software editing suites are the great art of our time.

    Of course, there is something compelling about any feature of a complex system when separated and considered in isolation….

  1. 1 WRT: Writer Response Theory » Blog Archive » S1M0NE and/or Chatbot films

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