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Alphabet Word Gestures - Teapots and Computer Graphics

Every year we see lists of new words that are added to the English language. Analyzing the words is one way of picturing the way our language and our culture continually evolves.

Alphabet Gestures : All, 2006, print 30 x 30


Detail: Alphabet Gestures : All, 2006, print 30 x 30


The series of drawings “Alphabet Word Gestures” explores both the words that describe the “teapot”, a ceramic vessel invented over 500 years ago, and those from the technologies of “computer graphics”, a field that has emerged in less than 50 years ago.  The intersection of Teapots and computer graphics came in 1975 when Martin Newell at the University of Utah built a mathematical model of an ordinary teapot using Bezier control points.  This data set was made public and was used by other researchers to test rendering algorithms.  Over the years it has become a symbol for the ever-advancing research in computer graphics.

I researched the vocabulary used to describe the field of computer graphics and came up with 1243 words. I found 231 words that describe the teapot vessel and its uses. Using these 1474 words as pictures these drawings explore the visual patterning through the layering and highlighting of these combined vocabularies.