‘The New Alphabet’ Explores And Reimagines Communicative Hierarchies

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The New Alphabet is a series from publisher Spector Books that explores and ultimately counters and reconceptualizes the functionalization of languages like DNA, binary code, the human body, and music playlists. Over 25 volumes, these hierarchies are deconstructed and assessed, old use cases get discarded, and they record alphabets-meanings become altered and transformed, all using graphics, colors, patterns, textures, and prose.

Throughout the series, the volumes themselves become malleable elements you can arrange to form ideas, sentences, and concepts, an alphabet in and of itself using the end covers. Word clusters, gradients, and other elements come designed to form a bespoke grammatic structure within itself, leading the reader to explore the overarching concept of alphabet-like constructs. Essays exploring the central themes of each volume compliment the graphics and illustrations.

Edited by Detlef Diederichsen, Anselm Franke, Katrin Klingan, Daniel Neugebauer and Bernd Scherer, with photography by Wolfgang Tillmans, the first three volumes are available now, in German and English. Descriptions for the next three volumes, exploring echos, the human surface, and, of all things, the comparison of the technological impact of the spear versus the bag, have been announced. The series will run through next year.