C4PTCH4 TH1S addresses linguistic trends and semiotics born within digital communication platforms; the transformative effects of emergent technologies on our use of languages; and what these occurrences reveal about the future of communication. The creation, interpretation and flow of visual meaning is profoundly human; our digital culture both disrupts and extends how we think about and use language. Memes, emojis, acronyms, hashtags, @replies are used globally to tell stories, seduce, express rage, form movements, build brands and more. Our informal, unfiltered texts and comments are no longer written just to be read, but rather to be shared, moved, and manipulated.
Languages are engaged in new social, cultural and economic interpretations that are driven by computation as a new medium. Living at the intersection of visual representation, storytelling, subversive communication and platform technologies, our means of communication invite new forms of critique and making, as well as a renewed understanding of how languages evolve.
C4PTCH4 TH1S is a multi-platform project that studies these events. It addresses the linguistic trends and semiotics born within digital communication platforms; the transformative effects of emergent technologies on our use of languages; and what these occurrences reveal about the future of communication.
The title is a play on the phrase “Caption this,” a call often used by social media users, inviting others to interpret and describe a posted image. CAPTCHAs are tests used by websites to block spam robots by determining whether a user is human. The pun refers to the relationship between humans and machines and the effects of this interplay on language.
C4PTCH4 TH1S officially launches during ArtCenter College’s Creative Tech Week, October 11–15, 2021 with a series of online conversatons and an interactive website created by designer/ArtCenter faculty Roy Tatum.