Dedd Pixel

Text as art

by on Mar.31, 2009, under Art

If there’s one philosophy that was fervently brandished by the art students I went to school with, it’s that text has no place in art and any worthwhile art piece shouldn’t need text on it to get the point across.

But, can text itself can be artful?

With the rise of web2.0 technologies, tag clouds are springing up all over the web on blogs and in a variety of mashups.  In addition to providing quick and interesting information at-a-glance, I find them to be quite beautiful. I’ve seen Wordle, in particular, twice since Obama has been elected – once on the web after his inauguration speech and another just last week during a mini-state of the union style address on CNN. wrote an interesting content comparison post that compared the speeches of several past presidents and immediately shows the overarching themes.

Another neat textual art project is TextArc, a program that demonstrates the relationships between words within a text. I highly recommend checking out the analysis of Alice in Wonderland. Similarly, Visual Thesaurus provides a visual word definition and relationship view. Check out the word list for Carroll’s Jaberwocky to see it in action.

Beyond the containerized context of a specific written work, you can see the commonness of many English words at, which uses size to represent how frequently a word occurs.

I’m sure there’s many more neat text-based art projects on the web. If you find any, please comment and leave a link so I can check them out and bookmark them. I created a neat analysis of 100 spam emails and subject lines between March 13-15 with wordle. Conveniently, it’s somewhat pill-shaped. 🙂

Wordle: 100 Spams

:, , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!