Graphic memory: the many lives of letters, from handwriting to digital fonts and back

Online EventHybrid EventOrganized by: Contextual Alternate

This in-person event and online conference explores the mutual dependencies and the crossflow of influences between handwriting, hand-drawn characters, and typographic printed/digital letterforms.

The conference invites explorations of the interflows between handwriting, lettering, typographic characters, and broadly letterforms in all their variety, to examine how their overlaps have been manifested across different sites of graphic expression across history, and how they continue to shape current practice. Spanning a range of topics – from the paradoxical construct of ‘handwriting fonts’ to the absorption and reimagining of typographic forms in handwriting; from the development of formal models of letterforms to the strong associations between certain styles of letters and their perceived meaning – the conference aims to address the rich media archeology and graphic apparatus of text: within, across, and in-between different contexts of use. Speaker participation in this online conference will be through pre-recorded videos. Contributions are invited from researchers and practitioners with an interest in visual characteristics, stylistic connotations, and material production of letterforms. Contributions must be in the form of video presentations of 15-minutes or less, with a minimum of 10 slides of visual referenced material. We are particularly interested in the sites of boundary-crossing between conventions, media, and practices (e.g. between handwriting and its pedagogy, calligraphy, lettering, type design and typography, graffiti, sign-painting, stone carving etc), as well as the crossflow of formal ideas and stylistic influences in different/unrelated contexts. This conference has been organised in collaboration with the Frequencies Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by artist Oscar Murillo and led by political scientist Clara Dublanc. From 24 July to 30 August 2021, over 40,000 canvases by more than 100,000 school children across the world will be brought together by Turner Prize-winning artist Oscar Murillo in a major installation marking the culmination of his eight-year project ‘Frequencies’. The project will be presented in its entirety for the first time by Artangel at Cardinal Pole Secondary School in Hackney, London. • • • All video submissions should be complete as intended for presentation and must be received before 5 August 2021. If your video is selected, you will be informed before 10 August and must be able to participate in the online conference on 20 August, for the live Q&A session that will follow the screening of pre-recorded video presentations. Please note that to engage a wider audience selected videos will also be screened for visitors to the above exhibition, for the duration of a week between 23–30 August.



Cardinal Pole Secondary School, Hackney, London
205 Morning Ln
E9 6LG, London
United Kingdom

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