The Human Alphabet
October 16, 2019 1:33 PM   Subscribe

"There is arguably nothing more human than the alphabet, given that language, and particularly written language, often tops the list of qualities which distinguish our dear species most distinctly from others. To form the letters of these alphabets using the human body is then, perhaps, not so strange a leap..." (links 1 & 2 potentially NSFW). posted by misteraitch (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite


 
great but missing the extremely vital category of hieroglyphs with human legs
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


not an alphabet, but i wish i still had my team's copy for item #1 of the 2003 uchicago scavhunt
posted by anem0ne at 2:32 PM on October 16


Seems like the Kama Sutra one should be a Sanskrit alphabet.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 PM on October 16


There is arguably nothing more human than the alphabet

Given that an alphabet is a small set of shapes whose defining property is to be distinguishable from each other even after undergoing assorted kinds of visual distortion, and that the reason for their existence is to enable the encoding of arbitrary information in ways that rely solely upon that distinguishability, it follows that there is just as arguably nothing more human than digital information.

I can't decide whether this is an insight or a reductio ad absurdum.
posted by flabdablet at 1:52 AM on October 17


Clearly this is art. But I did a similar thing with low level ESL students when learning the alphabet. They loved it because they were almost always pre-k or early elementary aged. And hey, rolling around on the floor is fun.
posted by kathrynm at 7:33 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


You might also enjoy Movement , "a typeface that captures the art of dance by tracing the human body "
posted by Zumbador at 11:18 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


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