A picture may paint a thousand words but typefaces can illustrate thousands of images, according to a current exhibition by Tel Aviv-based typographer Oded Ezer.
In one of four works, titled "We Are Family", Ezer has taken widespread images found online of violence, sex and politics – particularly those that have gone viral – and amalgamated them into animated gifs to form a typeface. Images of a non-Muslim woman demonstrating how to wear a burka, an execution carried out by ISIS, a survivor of 9/11, various pornographic acts as well as images of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vladimir Putin and Miley Cyrus become the stuff of which letter forms are made. Alternatively blown up or shrunken, the images are repeated ad nauseum and arranged in patterns to make up individual letters whose minute but relentless movements trick and hypnotise the eye. En masse, the letters spell out - ironically - “We Are Family”.
“In the virtual war that transpires in the exhibit between typeface and imagery, it appears that the latter wins the battle by knockout,” says Dana Arieli, a professor at the HIT Holon Institute of Technology where the Practical Particles exhibit is taking place. “The exhibit demonstrates that, akin to the rumour of the end of books, speculation as to the demise of phonetics is apparently premature.”
We Are Family joins three other new works in the Practical Particles solo exhibition at the Vitrina Gallery of the Holon Institute of Technology until January 28. (Breaking) The Crystal Goblet, Dot.Font and Art vs. Design are also intended as "typographic responses to current issues in culture and mass communication".