Letters, play and art

Letterscapes is one of the more recent creations by computer graphic artist and scientist Peter Cho, graduate of MIT's Aesthetics + Computational Group. To appreciate his art, you have to play with it. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is the whole point. Click on the link (or the image) and you'll be transported into a spinning galaxy of letters. Click on a letter, and you find yourself clicking, pointing, dragging, trying to figure out just what you can make that letter do. Each letter is kind of a puzzle. You don't know what it will do until you interact with it. And then, as the letter dances and transforms before your eyes, you begin to discover the art of it.

There's an online portfolio of Cho's art for you to play in. One of my favorites is called "Type me, type me not." There's a link to a brief explanation of how it works, but it kind of spoils the fun of discovery.

Another play/artist who works in this genre is Major FUN Award-winning Jim Andrews. His Arteroids takes the play-art connection in a different direction, to produce an Asteroids-like game with words and letters accompanied by some definitely funny sounds.

This is a new, computer-unique art form. It is creating a new aesthetic that incorporates the viewer like no other art form before it. Whatever you call it, it's fun. And thereby a gift to us all.


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