Nodes of the language (Interfaces)
Nodes of the language was a self-initiated project investigating the relations between Chinese characters and their radicals.
Nodes of the language was part of a larger project called Interfaces. Interfaces was a finalist in Culture 2002, a contest for digital art organized by the Stichting voor Kunstpromotie (BE). It was presented at Numer 02, International Interaction Design Conference in Centre Pompideu (FR) and at Argos Festival / Hypertext STUK Leuven (BE) in 2002.
Nodes of the language visualizes a small subset of the Chinese language. It shows how the relations between characters form a system. Single characters are shown as dots (nodes), while the lines (edges) between them represent the compound characters, that are the result of combining 2 characters. Clicking on a line shows the these compound characters. Because there is no hierarchy between the nodes, there is no fixed starting point.
Chinese characters are two-dimensional abstract images, in which the written symbol is mapped directly into meaning. The project highlights this relation between the visual aspect and meaning.
For the sake of practical considerations (the Chinese language consists of about 50,000 characters) we used only a subset of the characters: the ones that belong to the more ancient era, and we did a basic distinction between simple and compound characters (for the same reason we didn't consider characters resulting from the combination of other compound characters).
Among what we called the 'simple' characters, we choose pictographs and ideograms. Combined together these give birth to a compound character (either a lexical aggregate or a phonetic complex).