> visual language >
> lieke de blank
graphic design student
artez academy of arts, arnhem (nl)
info@liekedeblank.com <
What if there is no language? Reading a lot about language, Philosophical Investigations by Wittgenstein was a text that inspired me. His theory states that language is a tool that makes it possible for humans to abstract, collect and order everything they know in words. How would imagery carry this same function?

A word gets its meaning by experience. Seeing a chair gives meaning to the word 'chair'. The more chairs you see, the more abstract the concept 'chair' becomes. In other words, your experience abstracts the concept of words.

Using education as a basis, I made three booklets: 'Moon', 'Rose' and 'Fish', which are the first words children learn in school. These booklets contain eleven pages of different perspectives – imagery – of the same word. They are layered to, together, show the constructed concepts of the words.

As you flip through the book, you witness the visual representation of a word become more abstract. I tried to do the exact same thing for more abstract, less visual words such as 'Love', 'Grief' and 'Hope'. As they don't have a particular essence in appearance, the layering resulted in undefinable shapes. With the visual concepts of those words not being clear at all, this probably results in the fact that in a world without language these words probably wouldn't exist.