By Jolanta Lapiak

The term calligraphy usually evokes an image of beautiful writing and lettering. The series in my photocalligraphy body of works called Photospeaking and/or Photowriting inspects the notion of calligraphy and deconstructs this notion.

calligraphy in asl
"a splendid flash of concrete poetry",
Photospeaking and/or Photowriting
by Jolanta Lapiak at

The photocalligraphy series depicts a trace of text in Ameslan or ASL (American Sign Language). I translated a selected English text into Ameslan or ASL and captured the movement of ASL into a digital image. This process refers to Derridean arche-writing (all forms of writing or tracing) and grammatology (the art/science of writing).

Poetry Performance
Poetry Performance, Photospeaking and/or Photowriting
by Jolanta Lapiak,

I explored the calligraphic element in ASL (which I called it "verbal calligraphy." I related it to Japanese/Chinese calligraphy, for sign language and Japanese calligraphy share visual-spatial modality. I compared calligraphy and choreography in vocal singing (beautiful writing on the air), manual singing (beautiful writing in the air), and dance-writing (beautiful writing on the surface), which people sometimes see Japanese calligraphy as dance-writing.


Jolanta Lapiak.

Also see Spring Dawn: an early calligraphy.