Publication / The Compositor Composing

The Compositor. Edition of 12 + 2 HC, signed and numbered, Alexandra Crouwers, 2020

  • 12″ 180 grams black vinyl record, recto: 33rpm/45rpm audio, verso: engraving
  • Sewn felt sleeve,
  • 60×60 folded poster, 30×30 inlay

About The Compositor

The audio on this record was made using the method of sonification, which means: to turn something into sound. In the early 1960s, my grandfather acquired a piece of land, filled with young Norway spruces. The trees were left alone for decades and grew tall, transforming the land into a small family forest, which my mother inherited. In September 2019, all trees had died, and the forest had to be cleared. It became The Plot, a gateway for ecological grief.

The preceding springs and summers came with extreme drought, while unusually mild winters saw barely any frost. The prolonged drought weakened the trees, and the warm winters caused an unstoppable infestation of spruce bark beetles. The beetle lays its eggs in tree bark. Its larvae eat their way out, leaving intricate tunnel patterns that resemble alien alphabets or hieroglyphs, hence its name: Ips typographus in Latin, or Letterzetter in Dutch, which translates back into English as compositor.

This is The Compositor Composing.

Record: 33rpm/45rpm | Engraving
Index: The Plot | Evidence (1:1) | Trace | Waveform
Edition of 12 + 2 HC
LUCA School of Arts / KU Leuven
Audio, design & production: Alexandra Crouwers
IPS typographus font: Jeroen ‘Joebob’ Van der Ham, Den Bosch
Vinyl pressing: Dubplate, Everberg
Engraving: DLS, Antwerp
Follow Alexandra Crouwers:
Alexandra Crouwers (NL, °1974) is a visual artist working in the digital realm. Her works are made by using a combination of 3D modeling and animation, and post-production, and can take many forms. From 2019 on, she's a doctoral researcher in art and animation at Leuven University/LUCA School of arts, Brussels, under supervision of Wendy Morris.