Plasmatic Behaviors

  • M. Javad KhajaviEmail author


The focus of this chapter is on the plasmatic qualities of Arabic script and Islamic calligraphy. It is explained here that because of the script’s innate qualities Arabic letters and glyphs change shape constantly, according to their context. In addition, it is mentioned that the calligraphic line in Islamic calligraphy seems to be malleable. In fact, different examples of traditional calligraphy and neo-calligraphy render calligraphic forms as elastoplastic elements that can shift shape. These plasmatic qualities, as argued here, inspire a category of temporal events that are referred to here as plasmatic behaviors. In these, the shape of letters and glyphs may change but their identity and essence are preserved. So, although their shapes change, they still remain and can be recognized as the same verbal units. The chapter ends with a discussion of how plasmatic behaviors may affect legibility and readability.


Elastoplastic Neo-calligraphy Plasmatic Plasmaticness Sergei Eisenstein 


  1. Bendazzi, G. (2016). Animation: A world history (Vol. 1). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  2. Blair, S. S. (2006). Islamic calligraphy. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brownie, B. (2015). Transforming type: New directions in kinetic typography. London: Bloomsbury.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eisenstein, S. (1986). Eisenstein on Disney (A. Upchuch, Trans.). Calcutta, India: Seagull Books.Google Scholar
  5. Furniss, M. (2007). Art in motion: Animation aesthetics (Rev. ed.). Eastleigh, UK/Bloomington, IN: John Libbey/Distributed in North America by Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Issa, R., Pākbāz, R., & Shayegan, D. (2001). Iranian contemporary art. London: Booth-Clibborn.Google Scholar
  7. Keshmirshekan, H. (2013). Contemporary Iranian art: New perspectives. London: Saqi.Google Scholar
  8. Khatibi, A., & Sijelmassi, M. (1995). The splendour of Islamic calligraphy. London: Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
  9. Marks, L. U. (2011). Calligraphic animation: Documenting the invisible. Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 6(3), 307–323. Scholar
  10. Safwat, N. F. (1996). The art of the pen: Calligraphy of the 14th to 20th centuries. London: Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Solomon, M. (2000). Twenty-five heads under one hat: Quick change in the 1890s. In V. Sobchack (Ed.), Meta-morphing: Visual culture and the culture of quick change (pp. 3–20). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Volda University CollegeVoldaNorway

Personalised recommendations