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A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six

Collage is simultaneously a cycle, a series of echoing iterations and a linear process permeated with change. A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six is a collage machine, for which the ingredients are text, Morse code, audio clips, and user participation.

This interface was designed to explore the extent to which an alternative, digital alphabet system may be used to ‘write images’ in a screen-based environment. The project is comprised of a digital media database, a text entry field and a screen space that serves as an empty stage. When a user enters written text of their choice on screen, letters are converted to images and sounds, and the screen becomes a playground for composing new personalised messages. These may be saved or printed. Morse code is used as a conceptual and functional bridge between text entry and audio-visual media. Though the project contains audio, it is primarily focused on text as a mode of interaction, reconstructing written language in a way that is visually configured according to user input. The project is an inquiry on how these visual messages relate back to a user’s original text, and what might be learned through the process of composing and the resulting collage-like products.

The project was launched at public exhibition. Visitors were invited to create and print their own designed artworks, and experience audio-visual translation as social activity. Samples of printed visitor collages are shown at the left. Collages may also be emailed as PDFs.

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Barness, J. (2015). Letters are Media, Words are Collage: Writing Images through A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six. Message journal, edition 2, pp. 46–53. Plymouth University, UK.

Exhibitions / Presentations

2014–16. Exhibited at @Infinitum international faculty exhibition.

- Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (2016)

- Kent State University Museum, Kent, OH, USA (2015–16)

- Hebei Normal University Museum, Hebei, China (2014–15)

2013. Morse Code Remix: Translating Words into Audio-Visual Collage. Interactive demonstration at HASTAC 2013 international conference, York University, Toronto.

2012. A (Dis)Connected Twenty-Six: Translation, Codes and Collage in Interactive Design. MFA Thesis Exhibition. College of Design, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

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