From Handwriting to Digital Calligraffiti
The journey of writing started with a mark of a footstep in the mud for someone who had walked here before, this footstep later on took a shape and it held more decipherable information later on. My project discusses mainly Digital Calligraffiti, in order to break it down I will first briefly mention how writing started and evolved into calligraphy, then graffiti, and lastly digital calligraffiti.
Writing first started in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), , the clay tablets that were found there had symbols that looked like nails in specific arrangement that were translated later on to words. This language was then called Cuneiform.
The flow of writing then evolved in Egypt around 3500 BC, with the wonderful script of Egyptian hieroglyphy , which I conceder to be the earliest form of calligraphy.
What separates Calligraphy from handwriting is mainly the strict rules of calligraphy for example one has to maintain the shape of any letter with accordance to those strict rules, the letter has to be exactly the same in shape, proportions and anatomy regardless of where it’s placed.
The earliest form of graffiti was most likely the cave paintings and drawings, that is if we were to consider graffiti in the broadest definition as any form of a visual act on a wall.
The fusion between Calligraphy and Graffiti is a sub genre called Calligraffiti, a term which was first coined by Niels Shoe Meulmann in 2007.
In 2016 was the birth of Digital Calligraffiti as an urban art performance which mainly aims to transfer the urban ecosystem into a canvas of expression by joining Calligraffiti and media art, it was created by ‘Public Art Lab’, Don Stone, multimedia artist Michael Ang and I - Hamza AbuAyyash.
Digital Calligraffiti is a technique which makes voice more visible to the public, it’s a way to help oppressed people, and those who are unheard project their messages, their hopes and their dreams on facades, it’s a way that can amplify the impact of a messages so it can be seen.
Light vanquishes darkness through letters, letters from words, and words are a form of knowledge which dissolves ignorance. This technique crosses borders, it can connect different continents to project on one facade in real time.
My project is a scenario of how certain historical western monuments, icons, and symbols could interact with futuristic forms of art using oriental scripts.
Performances in Gent:
A performance that should took place on a night between 18-21 June around 23h00 for one hour, it supposed to be the last one in a series of three performances that discusses the main question of my research: “Which artistic strategies can Digital Calligraffiti use to add new content and forms to historical western monuments, symbols, and icons – case study: Gent”.
But the performance did not take place because Historische Huizen Gent and Departement Stedelijke Ontwikkeling - Stad Gent did not give me permission to perform due to political sensitivity that they refused to discuss.
Photoshopped photo of how the projection on the gate should look like.
The text used here was part of STA.M performance, the sentence says:
“Do not blame me, blaming is some kind of temptation” by Abu Nuwas
Wollah! Van Eyck Was Here. Lamb of God/عزف الحروف
The performance was part of Gent’s celebration of the famous artist Van Eyck, in partnership with ........, and it was in St. Bavo's Abbey.
The statue of Jesus was without arms, so I wanted to complete the missing parts by giving him wings with digital calligraffiti projection using quotes from the Bible, and Sufi poetry.
Slam Aleikum @ ........nocturne
The Performance was part of ..................., the event was to experience the story of the city with eyes and ears in honour of Heritage Night.
The performance was in the church, and the text I used was poetry about temptation, love, passion, and compassion.
Master Project thesis
>Photo by: Bader Shashit
(video for virtual performance)