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A linguistic experiment featuring LB agar and K12 e-coli bacteria in petri dishes
The english alphabet stands in an order completely unrelated to each letter’s (current) meaning. The order is: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, which is the same as uazxfwgdntvqepcmshbkyroilj, which is the same as lgbtqiawrpysjmfnczxheukdvo. It is not a acronym, it does not have a numeric order, and it has been in this order for a long time. Its letters do not relate to each other spatially, and when their written arms touch on accident (like on a subway or in line at a grocery store) it is generally considered “bad penmanship”.
Streaked petri dish after 48 hours
These are the problems I have with the english alphabet.
Streaked petri dish after 2 weeks
When a phrase sounds right, it is a rhyme. When a phrase hurts to say, it is a tongue twister. When I write, I don’t want my words to sit still or become comfortable. I don’t want them to rhyme. I want them to grow from their beds and become unlandscaped. For each letter to remember what it felt like to grow limbs and sounds and serifs.
I crave linguistic chaos, a call for biodiversity.
Below is my idea for an alphabet that doesn’t need me anymore. Each limb of each letter has its own individual capacity to grow or change as it sees fit, and change it must. Within its life cycle it will grow into and around other letters, silently adding to its own lexicon, its own academy.
many thanks to Genspace NYC