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Typeface based on sculpture becomes motorized sculpture
July 10, 2011 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Typeface based on sculpture becomes motorized sculpture. The (European) typeface Jigsaw, “which was inspired by sculpture,” finds a use in typesetting the names of donors to a (U.S.) regional arts council. “A motorized disk contains approximately 2,000 names.... Pushing an initial letter on the control panel allows the viewer to find a particular name. The disk rotates and stops at the requested letter and displays all the names corresponding to the requested letter by backlighting them with white LEDs.” (Gallery; Vimeo video.)

Cf. arranging the names on the 9/11 memorial.
posted by joeclark (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's an interesting concept, but...

It's a list of donors. That's a big ol' Meh for everyone but the donors themselves. And even then, the fact that it's an unnecessarily elaborate and probably very expensive bit of useless signage, rather than, like, the kind of thing they might've expected their donation to be put towards, can't be much of a turn-on, no matter how much ego gets stroked. They might as well have flushed the donations down the toilet--and, actually, it kind of does resemble water circling a drain, so, hey.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:31 AM on July 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is a very perceptive demonstration of fine art as the vanity of patrons.
posted by warbaby at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a fancy donor plaque, indeed.
posted by erstwhile at 10:43 AM on July 10, 2011


Interesting. I've been on a bit of a typographic bender of late, so I hope you don't mind my contribution of these links to the mix: posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:49 AM on July 10, 2011


I do not disagree with Sys Rq’s analysis. But memorials are always about the names involved, are they not? And not every memorial can be Maya Lin’s.
posted by joeclark at 11:06 AM on July 10, 2011


And they can't even keep the touchscreen directory in the building I work in operative.
posted by longsleeves at 11:24 AM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


But memorials are always about the names involved, are they not? And not every memorial can be Maya Lin’s.

Right, but it's not a memorial. It's just a list of people with deep pockets. The names hold no more significance to visitors than any randomly pulled from the phone book.

It's interactive, but why? Who's going to interact with it? Maybe every once in awhile one of the donors will hit the button that makes their name not be upside-down, but beyond that?

It's an electric plaque. It's drawing power all day long for no reason whatsoever. WTF???

The more I think about it, the more I dislike it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:33 AM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The OP's last link is the first I've read about the placement of the names on the 9/11 memorial and I find the idea beautiful and appropriate. Here is a little more about the algorithm and about the aesthetics.
posted by drdanger at 11:38 AM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, Dr. Danger, you should probably read my blog post about the 9/11 memorial type.
posted by joeclark at 11:54 AM on July 10, 2011


I suppose they are crossing their fingers that nobody with a last name starting with Q or X ever donates anything.
posted by oulipian at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2011


Or having to sort on E versus É.
posted by joeclark at 2:10 PM on July 10, 2011


It's a list of donors. That's a big ol' Meh for everyone but the donors themselves. And even then, the fact that it's an unnecessarily elaborate and probably very expensive bit of useless signage, rather than, like, the kind of thing they might've expected their donation to be put towards...

Well it's being pitched as being both donor list and sculpture. The fact that it incorporates the donors' names doesn't prevent it from being sculpture... It may not be good sculpture, but every grant from an arts council isn't necessarily effective.

I do not disagree with Sys Rq’s analysis. But memorials are always about the names involved, are they not? And not every memorial can be Maya Lin’s.

Maya Lin's memorial was, as I understand it, at its time very unusual in including names. Since then, it's become common for memorials to include names, but it's a relatively recent fashion and may not last. Certainly many classical leaning architects are opposed to the practice.
posted by Jahaza at 6:13 PM on July 10, 2011


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