Friday, February 17, 2017

Gematria Scrapbook: Hieroglyphic Number Art Makes Gematria Come Alive Before Your Eyes

Egyptian hieroglyphics possessed a rich store of visual symbolism.
One of the main differences between our world and that of archaic man is how we communicate. The first city builders did not have the alphabet in the way we understand it.

 Their speech was not written out in letters and words. Instead, scribes had to draw out pictographs that looked something like what they were writing about. In Sumer and Babylon they used cuneiform, and in ancient Egypt, it was hieroglyphs. 

The progression from pictographs towards the alphabet based on phonics was gradual and not a clean break in any sense of the term.  The Egyptians and Babylonians were moving in that direction already based on the necessity of saving time.

Sumerian cuneiform must have
taken a steady hand.
When the Canaanites began using and spreading the knowledge of the alphabet, the original pictographs that had come to represent sounds were replaced with more abstract characters. When you're at the dock with hundreds of tons of wine and oil ready to be shipped, you don't have time to draw pictures. Because of  this, writing lost most of its connection to the visual world.

Ever since that time around 1500 B.C., our letters and have stood for the sounds of the words they make. The hieroglyphic nature of letters is still there, but you have to study it in books and analyze to get the whole story. The "Ah" for the -a sound "buh" for -b, and so on are all we usually consider in using letters and words to communicate.

Arabic numerals, the ones we use today still have kept more of their pictographic quality of the centuries. For instance zero is a circle with a space in the middle, symbolizing "the fruitful void." The other numbers have similar stories to tell.

It's with these things in mind that +The Infinity Man has created, what I think, is a new genre of  art. It might called "numerograhics" or just "number art." If anyone come up with a cooler name for the genre, please let me know!

The screenshot on the left is one of Infinity's first works.What I like about it is the spirit behind it-- a new way of looking at numbers, art and symbols.

If you're like me, you can see the possibilities of this genre. So I'm going to include this excerpt from Infinity's post that helps break it down. 

The images at the bottom are those that can be made by mirroring parts of the image on the top left.

There are two methods:

1 In the method I describe [on the left]  the low numbers are doubled in separate rows, and then go to the higher numbers that are also doubled. EG: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 The one where instead of starting at low numbers, you start at the high numbers. These are also doubled and then lower numbers, too. EG: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

In following the second method you should get a totally different image.What I mean by double or more is that there are in the string of numbers, more 1's or 2's or whatever number is more prevalent in the simple gematria

Congratulations to The Infinity Man for this new style of number graphics! I think the important thing at this stage of development is to play around with some different ways of doing number art. The possibilities are limitless.