A Faulmann File

series . Vienna 2016 (Austria . EU)


Vienna spoils us with countless fonts the shops, cafes, and restaurants display to invite us in. They convey moods, messages, and meanings. Letters and fonts are so common that we tend to overlook them. We rarely think of their creators, let alone how outstanding the evolution and invention of writing systems are for humankind:

The ability to store and transfer information across generations is crucial to the maintenance of our culture. In A Faulmann File I work with this tension between the past, present, and future which, in essence, occur simultaneously in my images. Yet, their simultaneity is highly intangible; it’s a hazy notion or feeling at best like time as an experience itself.

History proves how letters will most likely stand the test of time, whereas we as individuals will fade into oblivion. Our bodily presence remains ephemeral. Only our stories may outlive us.

This project’s name refers to Mr. Carl Faulmann and his legacy.

The German-born typographer, shorthand writer, inventor and professor came to Vienna in 1854 where he worked at the State Printing House. His book* with a not quite short title contained the then known writing systems from all around the world, a remarkably complete collection.

* Carl Faulmann, Das Buch der Alphabete aller Zeiten und aller Schrift enthaltend die Schriftzeichen und Völker des Erdkreises, Wien 1880 [Reprint: Olms, Hildesheim 1986]

Named after Carl Faulmann: Faulmanngasse, Vienna