John Pobojewski


  • Audio Alphabet


This audio alphabet was created for Rick Valicenti’s Playground. Type any phrase into the white box and press “Return” to hear what it looks like. (Shown on computer)

As an intermedia artist, I’ve been exploring the space between the worlds of sound, design, computer programming, communication, and art. This seems to have cultivated a sense of joy in discovering how mediums begin to blend together into something undefined yet unexpected.

One meaningful discovery is how computer simulations of complex movement can express written language in ways beyond the traditional alphabet. Throughout my life, I’ve been fascinated with the self-expression of the human mind, especially in language and movement. By using energies found in our everyday world — the fall of gravity, the force of an explosion, the glow of light — these words seem to take on a richer meaning that sticks with me longer than if I just saw them typeset on a page.

Most of the pieces were created using open-source software that allows for the creative process to occur within in a robust programming environment. The work also relies heavily on extensive libraries of code developed to mimic natural behaviors. I am very grateful to the community of programmers who have shared these tools with the artistic community.

For me, the lifelong quest will be to continue to discover new connections between different slices of life and express them in intermedia: sound, language, modern technology, culture, design, and emotion.

Special thanks to Rick Valicenti for curatorial guidance during this exhibition, and for continued inspiration throughout this work.


John Pobojewski has been a designer at the studio Thirst since 2003, working with clientele such has Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, Jeanne Gang, John Ronan, SOM, the Illinois Institute of Technology, among others.

In 2007, John received unique recognition as one of Print Magazine’s New Visual Artists: 20 under 30. John has also received recognition from the step 100,The Type Directors Club of New York, AIGA, and Graphis, and his work has appeared in many publications including id magazine and how magazine. Selections of John’s work are included in the permanent collections of Chicago Design Archive, the Denver Art Museum and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum.

In 2009, he formed Moving Design together with Rick Valicenti, which creates initiatives which fuse design research and art. Moving Design brings together organizations, professionals, and students from different disciplines to present relevant new ideas in order to shape the public point of view.

He has lectured at College for Creative Studies in Detroit, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and across the Midwest, and has judged several design competitions including the Type Directors Club TDC 53.

As a musician, John has performed across the United States, most recently with the Base4 Percussion Quartet, Nothing in Common, and as part of Mark Applebaum’s Metaphysics of Notation at Stanford University in 2010.

John is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and a Bachelor of Music in Performance.