Spellbound (Book)

Rethinking the Alphabet

Asserting that written language is on the verge of its greatest change since the advent of the printing press, visual artist Craig McDaniel and art historian Jean Robertson bring us Spellbound—a collection of heavily illustrated essays that interrogate assumptions about language and typography. Rethinking the alphabet, they argue, means rethinking human communication. Looking beyond traditional typography, the authors conceive of new languages in which encoded pictorial images offer an unparalleled fusion of art and language. In a world of constant technological innovation offered by e-books, tablets, cell phones, and the Internet, McDaniel and Robertson demonstrate provocatively what it would mean to move beyond the alphabet we know to a wholly new system of written communication.

Edition

Asserting that written language is on the verge of its greatest change since the advent of the printing press, visual artist Craig McDaniel and art historian Jean Robertson bring us Spellbound - a collection of heavily illustrated essays that interrogate assumptions about language and typography. Rethinking the alphabet, they argue, means rethinking human communication. Looking beyond traditional typography, the authors conceive of new languages in which encoded pictorial images offer an unparalleled fusion of art and language. In a world of constant technological innovation offered by e-books, tablets, cell phones, and the Internet, McDaniel and Robertson demonstrate provocatively what it would mean to move beyond the alphabet we know to a wholly new system of written communication.

Craig McDaniel is a painter, author, and associate dean and professor of fine arts at Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design. He is one of the authors of Spellbound.

Jean Robertson is the Chancellor’s Professor of Art History at Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design. She is one of the authors of Spellbound. 

Introduction
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Chapter 1
Listening to the Alphabet: Sounds
 
Chapter 2
Looking at the Alphabet: Shapes
 
Chapter 3
Rethinking the Alphabet: Pictures
 
Chapter 4
Rethinking the Alphabet: Colors
 
Chapter 5
The Visuality of Text: Degrees of Spatiality and Translucency
 
Chapter 6
Thinking in Scripts: The Look of Arabic by Erica Machulak
 
Chapter 7
The Curious Case of Translation
 
Chapter 8
Love Letters by Slavs and Tatars by Gabriel Ritter
 
Chapter 9
Text and Image in Visual Art
 
Chapter 10
Rethinking Visual Language in the Digital Future by Aaron Ganci
 
Chapter 11
Visual Culture and Visual Power
 
Chapter 12
Conclusion
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