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Books as pixels: rendering text as organized color

Posted 11 months ago
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51 Total Likes

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The entire text of The Great Gatsby rendered as colored pixels. Zoom interactively in here:

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Hi all, making my first post here. I've been using Mathematica in my research for 10 years or so, but now that I'm an MFA student I'm finding it extremely useful in my art practice. This post is just a fun simple idea and I plan on posting my more complicated work soon. Let me know what you think!

6 Replies

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This is really nice. Congratulations on the contributor badge.

Here is a similar idea. ONE MIT 2018 and ONE MIT 2020

In this example, we printed about 3 10 ^5 names on a six-inch silicon wafer. I used different font faces to make shades of gray so that the combination of all the letters made a shaded image on the lithographically printed wafer.

I used Mathematica with Szabolcs Horvát's MaTeX package to do the kerning

This is a stunning idea. I am imagining a very large print of these in a gallery and as you approach you suddenly realize it is all made of colored letters that comprise the complete text of the book. And you can scan through the numerous familiar words and quotes just by looking at the cover or an illustration. Very neat and artsy. I am also not surprised by your top image -- Francis Cugat’s 1925 original iconic book-cover art for The Great Gatsby. It gets more at auction than a first edition of the novel itself. Cugat created the design while Fitzgerald was still writing the novel, and Fitzgerald saw it and said afterwards to the publisher: “For Christ’s sake don’t give anyone that jacket you’re saving for me, I’ve written it into the book.” The Gatsby cover commissioned at $100 was the only one Cugat ever designed and very little is known about him. Some useful references:

@Elizabeth Shack just suggest that these covers would make excellent jigsaw-puzzles. What a brilliant idea! So formidable -- but so many favorite words and quotes remembered and rediscovered :-)

This is so cool!!

A relevant post is this one written by one of our Wolfram Summer Camp students some years ago:

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