Amandine Alessandra: News & Projects / Portfolio

  1. Letterform for the Ephemeral


    An everlasting choreography referencing the (real) passing of time, people standing as the Hours moving only once every 60 minutes, while the one acting as the tenths of Seconds executes a very fast routine in a continual move.
    This image is a screenshot of this work.

    In The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau creates a relationship between the metropolis and its inhabitants on one side, and the practice of writing and speaking on the other side, and how they are “writing an urban text
    as they move through it”.

    A given message evolves in perpetual flux and its context is permanently shifting, regardless if its support is an advert or public signage.

    Who is its audience? Where is it read? What is the weather like? What is everyone talking about on that day?
    Are they in a hurry? Does it smell of hotdogs as they’re reading it?
    A static printed message cannot adapt to a changing situation; it therefore belongs to the platonic ideal world rather than the hic et nunc (here and now) of the real world.

  2. Referencing the passing of time

    Recently, a bomb-sprayed piece of graffiti on a wall, reading “Time doesn’t exist, clocks exist”, drew my attention to two layers coexisting in the perception of time. One refers to the flowing entity, while the other invokes the intellectual, man-made structure that we use to sequence events and place them in a chronology.
    The notion of time also opposes the mathematical abstraction calculating periods of time and the concrete mechanism of clocks counting its passage.

    This begs the question: is there something called Time, other than the counting activity? Isn’t the consciousness of time a typically human experience?


    The final experiment of this research took place in a busy train station during rush hour, in order to reflect the flow characteristic of the place. It involved eight people mimicking a digital clock in real time with their arms and shoulders. Standing in line side by side in the middle of the station, two of them acted as the hours units, two for the minutes, and another two for the seconds. The two other performers were acting as the colons separating each unit of time. The wearable letterform, with its specific flexibility, allowed the message (in this case Time) to change from one second to the other, following more or less accurately the ticking of the station’s clock.
    The numbers each of the performers enacted were enhanced by day-glow long-sleeved boleros, which besides making them visible, also echoed the yellow of the train schedule boards above them.
    Used in this specific context and by using people as a medium, this temporary letterform confronts the economic value of time (as in time is money) with the individual perception of it.


    As seen at Liverpool Street Station on the 23/10/2009 between 18:00:00 and 19:00:00

    The final outcome of this experiment is its recording, in the form of a set of photographs fixing the message in the time, space and audience (commuters in a rush) it was addressed to. The letterform was contextual at the actual moment it was mimicked. What is left is a trace of it, as the message displayed (the time the photograph was taken) will not be accurate anymore when looking at the photograph. What was achieved with this latest experiment of wearable type was a hic et nunc letterform, a letterform for the here and now, finding its raison d’être when used in real time.

  3. Wearable lettering


    This is an experiment on wearable lettering.
    It started as a series of three day-glow and black tee-shirts, each with a slightly different pattern that becomes different highly visible letters when seen from a distance, providing that the wearer places his arms and body in a specific way.

    When wearing these tee shirts, a group of people can form a word, a sentence or a statement. Because a single person can mimic a whole set of letters, the message can change, from one movement to another.


    The flexibility of this letterform being slightly jeopardized by the fact that one single tee shirt couldn’t be used to make every letter, I started to think the wearable typography as a bolero instead: a pair of day-glow sleeves attached together by a strip of fabric that could be worn across the front or the back of the wearer.

    This new pattern allowed the wearer to become any letter, number or punctuation mark in a small move.


  4. Ephemeral Stencils: Salt




    While staying in Canada last winter, I became curious of the side effects of salt being used on snowy roads, and then dumped along with tons of snow in the nearest river. After laying a stenciled word on the grass, I covered it with salt, and then removed the paper. What was left was the word always neatly traced in the grass by the white crystals, bound to melt and disappear.

    For weeks, I regularly went back to the site to photograph the evolution of the letterform. I noted that as the salt letters were slowly fading away, the grass surrounding it started to die, burnt by the sodium, leaving a well defined scare in the green surface, where I don’t expect anything to grow for a while.

    It seems that although the word disappeared, the mark will always be there, unlike the grass which will never grow again.

  5. Ephemeral stencils: Birdseeds




    Confronting the notion of ephemeral stencils to the semantic field of tattoos. Tattoos understood as the contrary of temporary messages in both their form and their message, with words and promises such as Love, Forever, Always.
    Using the word Always for its double-meaning of repetition and eternity.
    Ephemeral stencil made with birdseeds.
    More here.

  6. WOW!


    Fitzrovia becoming Noho Square.


    Fitzrovia then, now and to be.

    This research aims at questionning/pointing out temporary hidden empty spaces,
    caught in between what’s gone and what is to come.
    This series of installation takes place in building sites in the changing urban landscape.
    High wooden fences are hiding buildings being demolished or raised, leaving us with the feeling that a tower can appear or disappear in a night, as the whole process is hidden from us, while the result appears effortless in its (fake) instantaneity.
    Tested visual solution: temporary hi-vi typographic installations

  7. WOW!



  8. WOW!


    Personal annotations/comments in the landscape, post-it-like.

  9. Legttering/Body type


    Body as letter form
    This experiment takes advantage of the fact that a lot of the typographic vocabulary is based on the human body: anatomy, body size, head piece, footers.
    Same thing for the book: a book has a head, joints, a spine, back and foot.

  10. As Lewis Carroll used to say


    I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write,
    takes only about 3 minutes to read!

    Lewis Carroll


    The idea behind the experiment was to use a quote in another context to get it to say something
    slightly different. Carroll’s words are used in a tautologic way: the words/letters, which are about
    how long it takes to write a letter that is going to be read very fast, have taken literally
    hours to write/weave across the gate, and (hopefully) won’t take more than 3 minutes
    to be deciphered.