Empty Words Workshop / Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni


Created by Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni in 2008, Empty Words is a system for typesetting and producing text-based posters consisting of only holes.

Using a gently modified standard vinyl cutter and a custom made software interface, each hole is cut in sequence at a controlled speed, celebrating the industrial machine’s normally unconsidered gestures.

Unlike modern computer systems, the setup does not offer any layout options and defines a maximum of five lines of text, at an automatically determined type-size, intentionally limiting the options for the poster to be produced, while rendering visible the always present limitations of any technology-based system for creative production.

In Tektōnics, Empty Words will be used to create a wall of texts, focusing on the all important gestures of creating our own environments and tools.

But so far, only the latin alphabet is available on our modest typewriter. The participants are invited to work with us on a version of the Korean Alphabet (Hangul), consisting only of holes, along with new contents for the wall in both English and Korean language.

Together we shall create new posters and embark on a typographic excursion that will lead to a new interface for the setup to run in bi-lingual mode throughout the show.


– Knowledge of either the English or Korean language, or both.
– Knowledge of Korean typography is beneficial but not required. As long as some participants have some ideas about it, we can get somewhere.
– A computer with Adobe Illustrator installed is very useful, but not every participant needs to have one, as we will work together.

Out of Square Module-1


English / Korean (support)

Duration: 1-Day