Modern Mantra by Thomas Broomé

drawing by Thomas Broomé

Thomas Broomé was born in Malmö, Sweden, educated in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and now creates strange, often interactive sculptures and installations. The project of his that sticks out for me is Modern Mantra, a series of pen and ink drawings of interior landscapes, painstakingly rendered using the words that describe them.

drawing by Thomas Broomé

drawing by Thomas Broomé

drawing by Thomas Broomé

drawing by Thomas Broomé

Hmm, it’s like a Type 1 exercise taken to a beautiful extreme. It could go even father, though — what if Thomas Broomé were to meet Charlie Krazer, the man who created the Sharpie mural in his basement rec room?

These illustrations appeared in an ad campaign for the Yazigi English School. Via AT.


5 thoughts on “Modern Mantra by Thomas Broomé

  1. Wow, these drawings are absolutely mind-blowing! Thank you so much for sharing, although I can’t help but suspect that they may be more interesting if the words were in Swedish (at least for me, since I don’t know Swedish). It would turn them into more of a game to figure out the different words and objects.

  2. Thanks, Arianna. It might interest you to know that I shared these images with a friend of mine who’s a computational linguist, and here’s what he had to say about them:

    Nice. These images would make great PowerPoint fodder for introductory linguistics and philosophy of language lectures. From a linguist’s perspective M.M. is cool because it’s a snappy illustration of a way that language definitely does *not* work.

    Broomé’s drawings illustrate a world in which the principle of the arbitrariness of the sign does not apply. That’s the linguistics answer. The philosophy of language answer is that Broomé’s drawings illustrate a particularly extreme theory of reference in which language is a closed system that cannot refer to anything outside of itself. That the world is literally made out of words.

    I believe this position is incorrect just as I believe the arbitrariness of the sign to be true, and take the sense of comic absurdity you feel when you look at these drawings to be evidence for these positions.

  3. Pingback: References « tashtodd

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