Critical Dictionary

Interactive Posters inspired by a 1920s Surrealist-Art Magazine

Visit website >

What if words tried to get away from their definition? What if definitions tried to escape their interpretations? This project is meant to show display tension between words and meanings.

For a class at CCA’s MFA Design program, I was tasked to create a document that showed our reflections on George Bataille’s Critical Dictionary. The Critical Dictionary is a section of the Surrealist-Art magazine “Documents,” published from 1929–1930.

My brief read as “Can you create a system that is not based on logical patterns? Can the system be critical of itself? Can the system include everything?” I decide to critique typography as a system.

still capture of website, currently live

Before making the posters interactive, I experimented with typographic systems and ways of flexing the system.

Sources of inspiration included Nikolaus Troxler as well as Studio Feixen, both of whom I referenced often.

Type Experiments

Scanner Experiments

Type + Scanner Experiments

I was satisfied with the general direction of graphics above, but I soon started to really question the idea of the poster itself.

I settled on the idea of interactive posters. If the audience moves his/her mouse, a reaction is created, engagement is stirred, and it is implied that the story moves in some direction.

Without linearity (like an animated poster would have), it’s never known whether the motion moves the story forward or in reverse, a climax is never reached. The only option is to be forever stuck in the middle of the story, hopefully intriguing you to imagine what could happen next.

still capture of website, currently live

visit website

Design by Winston Struye.

Help from the studio class