In his text “Lecture on Nothing”, John Cage uses tools such as repetition and seemingly meaningless passages to make it possible to experience “nothing”. Its structure also references a similarity to music. The text can be considered a composed conversation, to which Cage applies the same rhythmic structures used in his musical compositions. My work serves to make the repeating structures within the text visible. It consists of a book and a sound installtion.
The Words are sortet by the amount of times they appear in the Text. The volume level in the room determines which word groups become visible — as the room grows louder, more word groups overlay the others. The observer is thus able to interact with the text itself. The monospace font contributes to the visual effect of a rhythmic pattern, and reminds of Cage’s Mesostics.
In contrast to the installation, the book offers the possibility to observe the various word groups in isolation from one another. The programming language Processing was used to implement the installation; for the book I used an Indesign script. This project originated in a typography course at HAW Hamburg (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences) under the supervision of Prof. Heike Grebin and Christoph Lohse. The systematic and generative approach was one of the course’s focus.
Exhibition of the sound installation (Island, Hamburg)