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tFont/fTime

Semitra

Time produced by a typeface
Vast "fontscapes" surfacing in real and network spaces

"Semitra" is a group of artists that emerged from "Semitransparent Design", a creative team operating in a broad range of fields connecting the realms of design and media technology. In this exhibition they unveiled a number of new installation woks themed around the occurrence of "time in typefaces".
We are living in an age where most "letters" we deal with in everyday life are derived from data. The works introduced here were inspired by the idea what would happen if one added a notion of "aging" to written language as data that circulate through repeated copy-and-paste. Each of them integrates down-to-earth qualities that allow for free alteration by way of body sensation, while at once being accessible also via networks, making this a showcase of "fontscapes" continuously generated in both real and network environments.
Date
September 19, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Place
Studio B, Foyer, Gallery second floor, Central Park
Special Site
http://semitra.ycam.jp/
Poster & Flyer

Works

Movable Type (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

A font that can be played like music

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Movable Type (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

A font that can be played like music

Letters of the Semitra-designed font "fTime" (time visualized through a typeface) are displayed in alphabetical order on a large screen installed in the exhibition space. By playing records on a total of six turntables set up in front of the screen triggers, visitors can scroll down in the list, and further operate the turntable in a DJ-like "scratching" fashion to add irreversible distortion to the "fTime" design. At the same time, the letters gradually decompose during their repeated "playback" throughout YCAM's opening hours. Spreading across the entire exhibition space via a network, these data generate a continuously changing "fontscape".
(Aug, 2011)
Tour Information
  • October 22 - November 18, 2010 Semitra Exhibition
    Venue: Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

Typesetting (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Messages supplied via the Internet are displayed in the “tFont”

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Typesetting (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Messages supplied via the Internet are displayed in the “tFont”

Text messages entered via a special website are displayed successively on a large screen at the venue, in a font that is concurrently designed in "Movable Type". As the "fTime" font design keeps changing, even identical messages appear totally differently depending the time of posting. Real-time footage of this process is streamed via the Internet, allowing those who posted messages from remote places to witness the decomposition process of their letters.
Transforming gradually and synchronously in the exhibition space and on the website, the work symbolically represents the unique sense of time in the Internet society, and the exchange of messages between an unspecified group of users.
Tour Information
  • October 22 - November 18, 2010 Semitra Exhibition
    Venue: Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

California Job Case (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Overlooking the transformation process of the original “fTime”

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California Job Case (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Overlooking the transformation process of the original “fTime”

A total of 33 letters and numbers created in "Movable Type" are displayed at once on a screen inside the exhibition venue. By operating turntables installed in front of the screen, visitors can "play" the decomposition process of a font just like audio or video playback.

The work - in a sense a list of samples of the "fTime" font - highlights the characteristics of individual letters as they change their appearance over time.
(Aug, 2011)
Tour Information
  • October 22 - November 18, 2010 Semitra Exhibition
    Venue: Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

No Flash Photography Allowed

Semitra

Messages that only become visible when photographed

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No Flash Photography Allowed

Semitra

Messages that only become visible when photographed

Text messages posted via the exhibition's special website are displayed in the original Semitra-designed "tFont" (typeface with an added notion of time) on a curved screen mimicking the shape of a skateboard ramp. Text written in the "tFont" can only be deciphered by photographing what seems like nothing but an accumulation of blinking dots of light with extended exposure time.
Displayed in another exhibition hall was various footage of the same work photographed at several different exposure times, along with the Semitra artists' own photos of their work.
(Aug, 2011)

LCD/CRT (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Experience a font that changes its appearance through media

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LCD/CRT (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Experience a font that changes its appearance through media

A total of ten LCD and CRT monitors arranged in a circle show the decomposition process of "fTime", as well as single letters extracted randomly from "fTime". Dispaying "fTime" via media with different reproduction systems and resolution, the work is a symbolic hint at the emerging various relationships between typeface, time and output media.
(Aug, 2011)
Tour Information
  • October 22 - November 18, 2010 Semitra Exhibition
    Venue: Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

Large sign displays (benches and other objects) (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Giant letters blending into the environment

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Large sign displays (benches and other objects) (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Semitra

Giant letters blending into the environment

Large objects and benches in the shapes of the exhibition's key letters "T" (time) and "F" (font) are installed in YCAM's foyer. These letters are blending into the environment of the YCAM building and its surroundings, and create a fontscape that constantly changes in tandem with the daily changing scenery.
The objects in the foyer in particular are fitted with full-color LED lighting units, the coloration of which is manipulated via a specially installed website. While changing colors in various patterns, the work creates a multi-layered image as it is reflected on the foyer's glass walls.
(Aug, 2011)
Tour Information
  • October 22 - November 18, 2010 Semitra Exhibition
    Venue: Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

Documentaly film

Semitra

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Documentaly film

Semitra


Events

Artist Talk

September 19, 2009

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Artist Talk

In this talk session, the Semitra members explained the backgrounds and creative processes behind their works. The event also included a discussion about Semitra's activities and web design today with guests Yugo Nakamura and Yosuke Abe from the noted web and interface design studio "tha ltd."
Date
September 19, 2009
Place
Foyer
Credit
Guest: Semitra, Yugo Nakamura, Yousuke Abe
Moderator: Kazunao Abe (YCAM), Daiya Aida(YCAM)

Workshop "typo DJ"

November 28 - 29, 2009

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Workshop "typo DJ"

The purpose of this workshop teaching methods of "playing" video like musical instruments was to cultivate skills in artistic expression and transmission by means of film media. Participants could play their own various film material on a special DVD player on which discs can be played like records on a turntable. While being taught scratching and other deejaying techniques by instructors Hifana and Izpon, the participants learned in a practically physical manner how to "play" imagery.
Date
November 28 - 29, 2009
Place
Studio A
Credit
Lecturer: HIFANA, IZPON

Grants from: Energia Culture and Sports Foundation
Cooperation: GROUNDRIDDIM
Sponsored by: Pioneer Corporation

Profiles

Credit

Organized by:

  • Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
  • Agency for Cultural Affairs

In association with:

  • Yamaguchi City
  • Yamaguchi City Board of Education

Sponsored by:

  • Color Kinetics Japan Incorporated

Co-developed with:

  • YCAM InterLab

Produced by:

  • Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
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