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Many times when we become familiar with something, we become blind to the uniqueness of its features. This is especially so with symbols. We recognize symbols based upon their similarity to a generalized concept of the symbol. When we are familiar with a symbol, we normally see it only as the symbol and nothing else. We are oblivious to the uniqueness of this one particular instance and pay no attention to how this symbol differs from others of the same kind.

For the literate English speaking world, the alphabet is something we are very familiar with. We can pick up books of many different types with pages filled with fonts of all kinds and look at notes and letters covered with handwriting and, really, only see words and their meanings. The recognition of the individual building blocks of these words happens on a completely subconscious level, and we pay no attention to the characteristics of these letters what so ever. If we stop looking at these letters as symbols, we would see these letters are a very interesting bunch of marks. This is especially so with handwriting. Every person writes differently. Every person's way of writing is chock-full of idiosyncrasies and character. But yet, we do not notice this (as long as the letters do not venture too far from our generalized notion of what the letters should look like). With letters, I wanted to draw attention to and illuminate the difference we no longer see in that particularly interesting form of letters, the written English alphabet. In order to illuminate these idiosyncrasies, I developed a software system that translated scanned written letters into new forms. Through translation, recognizability is stripped away and difference is preserved.

The animated plant is a translation of the English alphabet written 3 times by a single person. Each pose the plant assumes is derived from a single written letter of the alphabet. The animation progresses through the handwriting alphabetically: A, A, A, B, B, B, C... Each group of letters displays a distinct growth pattern in the petals. However, none of the patterns are exactly the same, a reflection of the variance found in the way the same type of letter is written each time.