The Perfect Language

Landscape of writers

Commercial Work

This experiment focuses on the underlying grammatical structures of a language.

While it's easy to recognise a good book or story it can be hard to perceive the grammatical structure that is behind the beautiful sentences. The words and story usually distract the reader from observing the language.

In a try to reveal the underlaying structures I developed a method to remove all words and replacing them with their grammatical counterpart.


For my graduation, consisting of three projects, I made one poster for each project.

I screen printed a limited edition of these posters in three colours. Some are still for sale, for inquiries send me an email.


I used three different books by well renown authors :

• Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner

• The Lovers of Grass by Walt Whitman

• The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

I turned these three books into their grammatical structure.

For a more visible difference between the authors and a grander perspective I also developed a graphing structure creating a height-map of the different word types of each paragraph in the book. This creates topographical maps of the used language.


After I finished the translation of the books I thought it would be interesting to give an even grander perspective of these accomplished authors.

So I ran the software I developed for the initial translations on all publicly available works of each of the three authors.

Then I used the same topographical software I developed for the individual paragraphs in the books but now on all words of each author.

I thought this visualisation of concentrated data of these very talented authors required something of weight representing them. So I laser cut each level of the graph, glued it together and used that as a positive to cast it in metal. In the end each author had a heavy metal sculpture representing their collected work.

Graduation Exhibition

This experiment was one of the three parts of my graduation project. All three projects tried to show the visitor the beauty behind structures usually unseen or considered too abstract. Hopefully opening up a new perspective upon the world around us.

You can find the other two graduation projects here:

The Natural Beauty - Aestetic Mimesis

The Genetic Narrative - Evolutionary Perspective

Technology used

Some open source software was used in the creation of this project.

Many thanks to:

• Processing

• Python

• Python NLTK

Also thanks to theProject Gutenberg and their extensive library of ebooks in the public domain.

Further Development

Currently I am developing a deeper visualisation of language structures where each sentence is considered a small subsystem and each paragraph consist of an matrix of these subsystems.

Hopefully this would reveal an even deeper view into language and it's structure.

When this is completed is uncertain. As storing, analysing and later visualising this in a both beautiful and meaningful way is an complex and time consuming project.




Special thanks to all these open-source software that makes the tedious process of webdevelopment into an effective and enjoyable experience.