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“The 15th Letter” is an experimental attempt to construct a visual/conceptual work of interdisciplinary art based around concepts associated with a weblog. We normally think of a weblog as a narrative progression of thoughts and ideas which relies primarily on the use of written language to communicate its message; but my weblog is a progression of visual/conceptual ideas involving a dissolution and transformation of written language. The language in my blog is becoming progressively less readable but, while this is happening, the topic of my blog continues to be elaborated upon–rather than being transmitted by the construction of language, the message is being transmitted by the structural disassembly of language.

The 1st post is a quote from an article (by John Noble Wilford) which appeared in the New York Times in the late 90’s (here). The article reports on the discovery of the earliest examples of the alphabet. Wilfred’s text also appears in subsequent blog entries but the letters of the text are slowly being replaced with the letter O. The order in which the letters are replaced is determined by the frequency of the replaced letter’s appearance in the lexicon of the English language. The most infrequently occurring letter (the letter appearing in words least often) is the 1st to be replaced, followed by the 2nd most infrequently occurring letter, etc. The graphic identity of the individual letters of the alphabet is gradually dissolving into the identity of the letter O. But as the graphic identity of each letter dissolves, a spatially configurative identity is established for it–each letter assumes a particular location within an O-shaped circle of beads. All beads have the same image (an ancient bone disk-bead) so each individual letter’s identity is defined by its relative relationship to the other letter-beads within the circular configuration. This process is setting the stage for some additional transformations which will occur after the initial process is completed.

For artist’s biographical info, visit:

Visit Artist’s page on FACEBOOK


Copyright (c) 2010 by Michael Winkler

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