Grossformatige Auflösung des Werks virginia-ouse


Image size

The original photograph measures 55.6 cm x 83.8 cm on a sheet measuring 61.6 cm x 89.2 cm. In order to ensure the readability of the text, I decided to enlarge the work by 50%. The work was realised in Adobe InDesign. The document has the external dimensions 92.4 cm x 133.8 cm. The entire text of the book was inserted as justified text in the dimensions 83.4 cm x 125.7 cm.

Colour assignment


Using the "Find and Replace" function, the individual words in the text block were coloured by replacing the text with itself, but assigning the colour value defined in the set of rules. The text contains 6,335 different words (definition: word in text normalised by lower case). Since the set of rules assigns punctuation marks to the word, words at the beginning of sentences can be in upper case and words can be assigned several colour values, since the word frequency is greater than a colour value frequency, 9,202 individual replacement processes had to be carried out.


In order to implement the colour inoculation of the text in a visually appropriate way, a font and font definition had to be chosen that would result in as little white space as possible in justified type (caused by line spacing, word spacing, lower case letters, etc.) and at the same time allow the text to be readable. In addition, the dimensions 83.4 cm x 125.7 cm had to be achieved exclusively by defining the font.

The font chosen is Swiss911 XCm BT.

The font size is 11.06 pt. The line spacing is 9.554 pt. Kerning optical. Run size -15.


As a lossless export to a Tif file is not possible, because the document exceeds the technical definition of Tif, the document was exported as jpg in the outer dimensions 134 cm x 93 cm, with a resolution of 600 pixels/inch. The document had a size of 1.94 GB.

The picture was produced via WhiteWall as a real photo print behind acrylic glass glossy on Fuji Crystal Archive glossy, with acrylic glass 2 mm, glossy on Dibond 3 mm with a frame Basel, profile 15 mm (walnut).

The picture 1/50 is privately owned by the writer.




To determine the surface ratio, the words are grouped according to word length. Punctuation marks are assigned to the word that is adjacent without spaces; dashes are assigned to the following word.

Groups are formed from the words according to word length. This results in 24 length groups, which contain between 1 and 15,795 occurrences. 12 groups have less than 200 occurrences and are combined into one group.


Rgb Chart

For grouping, the colour values are sorted increasingly by brightness. To enable an approximate optical sorting, a purely numerical consideration of the values for R, G and B is not sufficient. The individual colour values are adjusted with the following formula (here with the example "Red": IF("Red"<=60;63-"Red";0)+ "Red"). The values for red, blue, green are added, the result is rounded to whole 10s and these are grouped. This results in 27 colour groups, which comprise between 1 and 109 individual colour values.


Farbe Wort Vergleich

For the allocation of the colour values to the words, the word groups are distributed to the colour groups in such a way that their simplified surface ratio (word length times number of words in group) corresponds to the area share of the colour group.

Since there are more colour groups than word groups, some word lengths are assigned to different colour groups. For the combined colour group (less than 200 hits), several word lengths are assigned to one colour group.

To check whether the formula used allows an approximately correct area distribution of the individual colour values to the text, the quotient of the individual colour value and the character length of the individual word was formed. Over all colour values, it lies between 347 and 392 characters, which is precise enough for the artist.

The rest is decided by the text.



Michael Kumpfmüller's "Ach! Virginia" recounts the last eleven days in Virginia Woolf's life before she drowned herself in the River Ouse in 1941.

Annie Leibovitz visited Virginia Woolf's last place of residence, Monks House, for her book of photographs "Pilgrimage" and photographed the waters of the River Ouse, in which Virginia Woolf drowned herself on 28 March 1941.

Kumpfmüller's literary work is linked by a set of rules with Annie Leibovitz's photographic work to form a new work of art.

The literary work is defined by the word. The photographic work is defined by colour. Both works have a two-dimensional surface as a common feature.

The works are merged by matching the distribution of words in the text with the distribution of colours in the photographic work. The comparison is made between the simplified proportion of the surface ratio of words and colours in the individual works.

The abstraction of the photograph reduces its immanent information exclusively around the representational image, all other information is retained. The text is inoculated with this information.

The text has an advantage here because its functionality is preserved and it is expanded by information.


978-3-462-04921-3 "Ach! Virginia":


Ach, Virginia Buchtitel

Clean text to create a cleaned up justification of the text. Isolate words. Draft rule for using punctuation marks in relation to words. Count words. Determine length of words. Determine frequency of words. Determine the frequency of words of a certain length. Determine the total length of words with a certain length.

There are 6335 different words in the text. For the purposes of this work, a word is a text component that is surrounded by spaces (adjusted for punctuation marks). Numbers and figures are words. Abbreviations are words.

The length of words, as defined, includes words of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 ,15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 ,21, 23, 24, 33 characters.



978-0-375-50508-9 “Pilgrimage”:


Ausschnitt Pilgrimage


Determine colour values in RGB from the photograph in a raster by means of a color analyser (used DATACOLOR DC10-3) and transfer them to a list. Convert hexadecimal values into decimal R-G-B values.

678 measuring points are recorded. In all values, there are only two duplications of colour values.






Transfer the entire text of Michael Kumpfmüller's "Ach! Virginia" (978-3-462-04921-3) into a text file. Find numerical anomalies in the text. Measure colour values from Anne Leibovitz's photograph The River Ouse, near Monks House (pages 40-41 of "Pilgrimage" 978-0-375-50508-9) in a defined grid and save them in RGB values. Find numerical anomalies in the distribution of colour values.

Find out the definition of the commonalities of the numerical anomalies and apply these commonalities to the distribution of colour values in the block text.

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