A proposal for a letterform


A proposal for letterform in response to Marcel Duchamp’s 1927 ‘Door, 11 rue Larrey’ and Kenneth Goldsmith’s 2011 ‘Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age.’

Duchamp’s ‘Door, 11 rue Larrey’ is a photograph depicting one door that serves two doorways; the right doorway leads to a staircase, the left doorway to a table on which sits a glass of water. Each destination represents diametrically opposed dual functions; to open or close the door, the door as entrance or exit, to ascend or descend the staircase, the glass half full or half empty. These all are various states of transition, that suitably illustrate Duchamp’s notion of the ‘infrathin’. A concept he defined as undefinable but essentially representing the separation or difference between to states, like the ‘warmth of a seat which has just been left.’

Goldsmith's seminal ‘Uncreative Writing’ explores the notion that “context is the new content”, authors have been employing writing strategies prompted by digital technologies: copy & pasting or appropriating existing text and representing it in new contexts. Reframing text changes the meaning and reading of the appropriated text. This transition or translation shifts meaning: context and content become hinged, mutually reliant and interconnected, opening and closing like Duchamp’s door.

Context. Content. These 7 letter words conceptually converge differentiated only by a single letter: an ‘x’ or ’n’. Set the words in upper case and in a monospaced typeface and watch them morph further into each other, once they perfectly overlay a new glyph is born — the ‘XN’ or ’NX’. Both mirror and hinge. A singularity of purpose — the XN/NX can only be deployed in this one instance: the convergence of meaning between Context and Content.


Context Content