We make sense of the things we experience and observe by drawing connections between them. From these connections, we draw further associations and a pattern becomes distinguishable. I explore these connections by nesting concepts and topics within each other, visualizing a structure for a reading pattern that unravels an intricate web of text. This book’s visual syntax provides a form for the narrative, leading us to unlock its multi-layered meaning.
Continuing with the exploration of pattern, but shifting medium from print to web, I turn to punctuation. While recognizing punctuation as a basic element of grammar that provides visual cues for reading, I take these functional components of written language and treat them as simple shapes. I focus on their form by decontextualizing and isolating them from accompanying text, placing them in an abstract interactive setting on the web.
These marks are filled with selections from the textile collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. By approaching punctuation decoratively and abstractly, I amplify its shapes and configurations to suggest alternate meanings. The website allows users to create a pattern by typing a punctuation mark, choosing a filled element from an array of options, and then resizing, rotating, and placing elements into configurations. Punctuation is thus released from its original function to become a platform for patterning. Further, multilayering the punctuation allows for even greater degrees of variety. By engaging and investigating these interactions punctuation takes on novel forms that might otherwise be understood as empty or unchanging.