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Bitype by artist Ross Campbell on display at the Nelson Public Library

Ross Campbell’s multimedia project Bitype, which takes a look at publishing technologies past and present, forms the current exhibition at the Nelson Public Library.

Campbell uses the materials of the past (the first wooden movable type blocks) with the structure of the present (a basic digital font) to illuminate the grid as a construction that frames the published word in this project, which dates from 10 years ago.

“I was doing a series of works around that time that looked at our contemporary digital medium in relation to historical mediums,” he says. “The notion of a bit-type font being done a few hundred years ago in movable type tickled me and seemed like a nice compression of time.”

“The process of creating the typeset blocks and letterpress prints was a considered slowing down of our current digital media.  What results is a compression of history, where a thousand odd years of publishing meet.”

Many of Campbell’s projects play with space and time by dislocating sites and materials or by mixing up language and symbols. “These investigations create situations and objects that can offer a moment to examine our relationships with the places we inhabit and the technologies we use.”

Campbell has studied and worked in Nelson, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Montreal. He has exhibited across North America in galleries, institutions, and public spaces. Having been busy for many years in the creative arts and education fields, he has settled back in Nelson for a quieter life.

The show continues until end of April.