Emergence is collective intelligence artwork / typeface developed in collaboration with artist Agnieszka Kurant.
Launched at Home Cooking as a profit-sharing-based poster project crowdsourced to artists, writers and thinkers.
In philosophy, science and art, emergence is a phenomenon whereby larger entities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities and whereby the whole is more than the sum of its components. Some completely novel form or pattern emerges out of the interactions of simple elements or particles. Examples of emergence such as termite mounds, flocks of birds, snowflakes and sand dunes are the products of a dynamical process and they evolve. Other examples of emergence include the evolution of life, human mind and consciousness, social movements, memes, the stock market and the internet.
Living systems, from colonies of bacteria and termites to human societies often display an emergent property described as collective intelligence and based on collaboration, collective efforts, or competition of many individuals. Seemingly independent agents can cooperate so closely as to become indistinguishable from a single superorganism. Collective intelligence involves consensus decision making, social capital and other means of quantifying mass activity or enhancing the collective pool of social knowledge.
The most important cultural products of our civilization such as the Bible and various mythologies were not created by a single author but by a collective intelligence. Just like memes, they evolved over time with the input of a multitude of authors who repeated, copied, translated or circulated these stories. Like a snowball, they accumulated many elements and contexts, often accidental. Contemporary production is based on circulation and crowd creativity leading to the emergence of new forms. Internet memes evolve and circulate like viruses at an unprecedented pace and scale.
We have been drawing on the phenomena of emergence and collective intelligence by employing evolution, amalgamation, aggregation and crowdsourcing as new ways of producing artistic forms. The Emergence typeface was co-created using these work methods.
Emergence typeface plays with existing forms and shapes of digital fonts. Different parts of various existing digital typefaces were extracted, assembled and arranged together into emergent new letter forms according to the basic shape of each letter. These ‘bits’ or ‘genes’ can be reassembled in various ways to create variants of each given letter; therefore numerous alternatives of each letter can be produced. Each new letter has as many elements from as many different typefaces as would make sense for it. Some letters accommodate more and some less elements (letter I for instance accommodates less elements than letter W or G).
The components of this typographic gene-pool consisting of 26 fonts — corresponding to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet — cover different epochs and styles, both low and high — all based on the history of typography.
Emergence therefore presents the subjective summæ or amalgamation of typographic knowledge. All typographers contribute to the general intellect of typographic knowledge, which could be understood as a combination of technological expertise, social intellect and poetry.
Agnieszka Kurant & Radim Pesko, New York City, London, May 2020
More information soon.
Designed between 2016 and 2020.
Not available for licensing.