Phonografik Collectivo

The Phonografik Collectivo is a collaborative project co-organized with Tricia Treacy, (North Carolina, USA), and Roman Wilhelm, (Berlin, Germany). In this project, we were interested in exploring the hyper-personal translation of the common phonemes of some of the world’s phonographic languages, specifically English, German, Arabic and Hebrew. To do so, we invited artists and designers in Europe, Israel, the Middle East and the U.S. to create hand lettered and calligraphic artworks, each based on a different common phoneme, represented by an assigned Phoenician glyph. The result is a collection of original and highly diverse artworks that are very difficult to represent online.

Our prompt to the participants:

1. We send you 50 sheets of 15×21-inch Zerkall paper, a digital representation of the corresponding Phoenician letter/glyph, a written description of how to make the sound, and a link to a digital file of the sound itself.

2. You explore how the sound of the glyph can inspire the creation of original, experimental, hand-lettered/typographic/calligraphic art, created as an edition, multiple, or series.

3. If possible, we ask that you post images and text regarding your creative or technical process to the project website/blog so that all participants can see what you are up to.

4. You send us your artworks, with a brief written reflection of your process.

In return, you receive a set of artworks, representing everyone’s contribution to the project, plus inclusion in many exhibition opportunities and a book about the project.

Participants & Results

(click images to see phoneme assignments):

The Phonografik Collectivo Book

As is our tradition with collaborative projects, Tricia and I decided to produce a book about the project in order to share the words of the participating artists. We produced this small, 6 x 9.75 inches, 60 page book from a combination of Risograph, letterpress and HP Indigo digital printing, (thanks to Today’s Graphics in Philadelphia, PA). The book contains 5 signatures (sections) of 12 pages each. The first and last signature are Risograph printed on grey Colorplan paper, the middle three are digital out on recycled bright white paper and the wrap-around cover is printed on the letterpress from a magnesium plate on grey French construction paper.

The edition of 100 was hand-bound by Tricia and her assistants Kellee Morgado and Jason Wright. We still have copies available.

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