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Working time: 5 days, 6 hours a day on-line × 9 parallel groups of 10–20 participants per group.

Alchemy of the Alphabet: Notation in space

The appearance of the mysterious power of imagination, allowed humans to extract images  from phenomena and abstract them into codes since ancient times. Cave drawings became pictograms, getting simplified and evolved into cryptic writing systems. Those became after a long process of metamorphosis, finally the Alphabets as we know them today. In the analogue world all writing systems are two-dimensional, symbols are always arranged on flat surfaces. In case of the latin Alphabet, that has not been significantly developed since the renaissance, letters are listed linearly from left to right.  


This narrative of listing signs linear from one point to the other has affected our thinking structure, our culture and the way we interact.

In the essay „The Crisis of Linearity“, media theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser* mentions already in 1988, our linear alphabet, is in the process of being replaced by different structured codes. While being aware of our contemporary communication we might understand his hypothesis better while navigating through digital interfaces: posting & sending jpgs, memes, videos, sound sequences, emojis, snapchats, or operating with fractured hypertext links by clicking us through the web.


However, the source code underneath all digital communication is still two-dimensional. Computer programming languages and machine codes (binary code) are symbols listed in lines.


In this workshop we will develop multi-dimensional, visual codes.

Designing sculptures, architectural objects or landscapes that can be read in different ways. We’ll create new spatial alphabets using 3D modeling software; smartphone 3D scan apps or mixing other digital and analog technics.

We learn how to use a 3D application for architects (Google Sketch up), to create spatial typography. 3D models can be reproduced as 2d renderings, drawings, animations, VR formats  or 3D printed objects. In the end of the week every one will choose what format is suitable for her/his outcome.


Please check reference video link ALCHEMY OF THE ALPHABET

Workshop description

Tools & materials

Make sure having access to SketchUp Pro before the course starts.  Application is available through the virtual lab: (vlab010-sketchup)



  • Day 1
    – Hello &introducing within the members.
    – Lecture on CODE and NOTATION in the arts.
    – Viewing examples of works related to the topic. 
    – Introduction to the exhibition project: OPEN CODES.
    – Q&A, Talking about tools and technics
    –Introduction to 3D modeling software SketchUp Pro.
    – Review, Q&A    

  • Day 2–4
    – SketchUp, introduction tools, exercises
    – open conversation, Q&A
    – Assignment
    – Review, Q&A

  • Day 5
    – Presentations, review, open conversation
    – Public presentation of the results

Adam Słowik

Polish interdisciplinary artist, designer, scenographer and independent curator,

graduated from the university of the arts in Berlin UdK. He works on the threshold between art, science and technology. In 2016 he was invited by Prof. Peter Weibel to the Center of Arts and Media Technology Karlsruhe (ZKM), where he worked as associated artist and researcher developing several spatial notation formats. In his work „Alphabet Space“ he reduced the entire latin alphabet in to one spatial form. Słowik’s works have been shown in diverse cultural institutions worldwide as well in the art as in the science context, together with Manfred Mohr, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, Daniel Liebeskind, John Cage, Salvador Dali, Sol Le witt, or Ramon Llull, among others. Adam Słowik currently lives and works in Berlin.

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