Language is forever evolving: Word Art imparts more with less. To extract value begs more of the observer than to simply read them and absorb their surface meaning.
Individual letters express sound and interpretation in a culturally specific way. In most modern languages, when letter-symbols are conjoined into words and then phrases, their expression and meaning can increase but can equally divert or subvert. Which or what is appropriate is entirely up to you.
Minimal Word Art attempts to dive beneath the interpretation of symbols and meld them with your perceived or actual experience. Spend time looking, feeling, and realising the depth and longevity of human civilisation.
Consider each word singly or collectively in the broad context in which they were written as well as in the conditions under which you are now reading them.
The marks we use to create letters and words are beautiful in themselves.
Since almost the beginning of our existence, Human Beings have had the ability to create images and symbols to help explain sometimes complex cultural and social circumstances. The presence of game for hunting, perhaps, or safe Human habitations.
Throughout our early evolution, Pleistocene through to Palaeolithic ages, so it is understood, certain figurative symbols acquired a level of standard nonverbal communicative understanding. A symbol for a snake, for example, scratched on a rock in a significant location would have communicated a message to others even though an exclusive verbal expression for a snake probably did not exist for thousands of years largely because there was no need for that type of skill – to identify a particular animal rather than the danger of certain animals in general.
As the development of verbal language accelerated, due to increasing numbers of disparate peoples drawing together into rural and then urban communities, a single word, or a collection of words, became commonly associated with fixed symbols.
A bird – A dwelling – A soldier – An army – etc.
Essentially, letters and words as we know them today started out as representative marks.
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© Rod McRiven 2022
Pictures: From archives
Further understanding: How hi-tech archaeology is revealing the ghosts of human history The surprising history of the written word The secret history of writing
Sources: Paul Pettitt: Professor in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University.
Alistair Pike: Professor of Archaeological Sciences, University of Southampton.
Lydia Wilson: Research Associate at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Lab, Research Fellow at the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at the University of Oxford.