These Squiggly Signatures Are Actually Shakespeareâ€™s Sonnets
Gregory Alan Bolcer stashed this in But is it Art?
Looks like Picasso!
The new project, called Sonnet Signatures, is an extension of Rougeuxâ€™Â Between The WordsÂ posters, which visualized the punctuation in classic literature. â€śI wanted to find an interesting way to quantify the poetry that could apply to any written textâ€”not just Shakespeareâ€™s sonnets,â€ť Rougeux says. â€śThe sonnets just happened to be a perfect set of bite-sized data that seemed appealing on their own and interesting as a whole.â€ť
HowÂ RougeuxÂ came up with the swooping signatures for each of the sonnets required something of a mathematical equation. Using the original 1609 text, he began by assigning each letter a value (a=1, b=2, c=3). Then line by line, he added all of the letter values together then divided them by the number of letters used. That average number was used as the y-axis coordinate, while the total number of letters used in each line determined the x-axis coordinate. Rougeux then connected the dots with a sweeping stroke that follows the order ofÂ the sonnetâ€™s lines.
The result is 154 abstract drawings that have a distinct Picasso-circa-light-painting vibe to them. Unlike his punctuation project, which intentionally revealed the stylistic predilections of famous writers, these signatures are simply explorations of form. â€śThe signatures are not meant to assign meaning but to inspire others to think about them differently than before,â€ť Rougeux says. Will you unlock some hidden Shakespearean message encoded in the signatureâ€™s forms? Probably not. But theyâ€™re still pretty cool to look at.