Biography



Born in a cabin without electricity in the remote mountains of northern California, Levi Hammett developed a deep interest in geographic space together with the concept and process of location. Raised in a blue collar family he worked as a sign painter and carpenter before pursuing a formal education in design focusing on coding and automation. This background developed into a creative practice that uses computational processes to inform the creation of handmade design objects rooted in traditions of craft. The resulting products use ambiguity and open interpretation to critically engage users with unconventional views of spatial-cultural phenomena.
    His design work includes a series of hand-made Islamic carpets that explore the urban culture of the Arabian Peninsula, a kinetic installation using 40 printers suspended from the ceiling outputting procedurally generated visual content, and an interactive audio/visual installation for the World War II Normandy Visitors Center in France.1
His work has been acquired by a number of individuals and institutions, most notably by the private collection of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. His work has been published in print and online collections, distributed as digital applications, and exhibited in Asia, Europe, the Middle-East, South America, and the United States.
    In 2019 Levi co-founded xLab,2 a non-hierarchical research & development studio working to produce electronic art, curricula, and hardware+software based tools to extend creative practice. Levi Hammett received his MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.3 Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar where he teaches a range of classes which explore computational art, the design of graphic products, and culturally constructive design.
1. Hammett, Levi., & John Caserta. Voices of Soldiers (Interactive Digital Interface). WWII Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center, Colleville-sur-Mer, France. 2007.

2. Hammett, Levi., et. al. xLab (studio for) {new = making + computation}. Funded by the Institute for Creative ResearchVCUarts Qatar, Doha, Qatar. 2019. link

3. Hammett, Levi. Deliberate removal : creating space for participation. 2006. 224 pages : illus. (chiefly color) ; 22 cm. GRAPH 2006 .H36



Becoming





Becoming (استفعل) is the latest light installation in a body of work imagining alternative typographic histories by constructing unconventional language display technologies. Here, freed from structural conventions pressed by the dominance of Latin scripts, we celebrate the formal potential of the Arabic language.
    Bright, bold, blinking verbs cycle through this hundred-segment display. These formalisms work heritage into the future, creating a catalyst toward alternative realities of becoming. Where these words are forces driving toward an unwritten landscape populated by unconventional technologies, in turn shaping new typographic structures.
   

The series of words takes us to the roots and connotations of verbs to be. Arabic Sarf (Arabic Morphology and Etymology) is the internal assembly of a word by way of patterns of vowelization and introduction of extra letters, which constitute a template. The template provides additional connotations “the bolder the template, the heavier the meaning”. As the title suggests, استفعل is a dynamic verb form of six letters, which means transitionally becoming, literally and figuratively, moving from one state to the other, and suggests deliberate and successive forms of the action.
Exhibitions & Publications:

Hammett, Levi., Hind Al Saad, & Fatima Abbas. Becoming. International Simposium on Electronic Art, Forum des images, Paris, France. (Group Exhibition). 16 - 23 May 2023.

Hammett, Levi., et al. Becoming. Language As Machine, The Gallery @ VCUarts Qatar, Doha, Qatar. (Solo Exhibition). 13 February 2023 - 9 April 2023.

Deezine. VCUarts Qatar presents nine installations informed by linguistics. 17 March 2023. (Article) link

Hammett, Levi., Fatima Abbas, Hind Al Saad, & Mohammad Suleiman. Alternative Typographic Histories: Arabic Script as a Driver of Language Display Technology. Acadia 2022: Hybrids & Haecceities, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States. (Presentation, Proceedings). 28 October 2022.


Concept: Levi Hammett & Hind Al Saad.
Type Design: Hind Al Saad & Fatima Abbas.
Writing: Hind Al Saad & Sara Khalid.
Programing: Levi Hammett & Hind Al Saad.
Electronics: Levi Hammett
Production: xLab
Commissioned by: The Gallery @ VCUarts Qatar


Fragments of an Alternative Future





The evolution of typography has primarily been driven by technological innovation designed to meet new use-case scenarios. The 20th century saw an exponential increase in typographic diversity created to take advantage of new technologies and communication needs. The locality of these technological innovations were primarily situated in the english speaking west, and focused only on the latin script. The power of these innovations further marginalized and endangered languages using alternative scripts that were not in a position to adapt to the new technologies and domains of communication.
This project imagines an alternative future where arabic is a primary language and evolved together with the technological innovations of the 20th century. To explore this future, a number of typefaces were envisioned, designed, and produced utilizing technology that represents specific typographic domains. In this case a segmented LED typeface, as well as a dot matrix arabic typeface. Based on our research1,2,3, this is the first fully functioning segmented arabic typeface design ever produced (some patents were created in the 1980's but were not produced). The typeface was designed by Fatima Abbas, programmed by Levi Hammett and Hind Al Saad, and constructed by Levi Hammett.
Exhibitions & Publications:

Hammett, Levi., Ryan Browning, Fatima Abbas, & Hind Al Saad. xLab (Electronic LED display installation, paper print, single channel screen). Research Labs Exhibition. Qatar America Institute for Culture. Washington DC, USA. (Invited, Group Exhibition). 2 February - August 2023. link

Hammett, Levi., Fatima Abbas, Hind Al Saad, & Mohammad Suleiman. Alternative Typographic Histories: Arabic Script as a Driver of Language Display Technology. Acadia 2022: Hybrids & Haecceities, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States. (Presentation, Proceedings). 28 October 2022.

Hammett, Levi., Ryan Browning, Fatima Abbas, & Hind Al Saad. xLab (Electronic LED display installation, paper print, single channel screen). Qatar Week Research Lab Exhibition, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, Virginia, USA. (Invited, Group Exhibition). 16 September 2022.

Hammett, Levi., Fatima Abbas, et al. Fragments of an Alternative Future. Hammett, Levi., & Fatima Abbas. Tasmeem Radical Futures exhibition, Tasmeem Doha 2022, VCUarts Qatar, Doha, Qatar. 7 March 2022 - April 2022.

Hammett, Levi., Fatima Abbas, et al. Fragments of an Alternative Future. Hello, World!, Doha, Qatar. (Juried, Solo Exhibition). November 2021 - February 2022.

Concept: Levi Hammett.
Type Design: Fatima Abbas.
Programing: Levi Hammett & Hind Al Saad.

Notes:
1. Md. Abul Kalam Azad., Rezwana Sharmeen., & S. M. Kamruzzaman. Universal Numeric Segmented Display. Proc. 7th International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (ICCIT-2004), Dhaka, Bangladesh, pp. 887-892, Dec. 2004. Link

2. Rahman, Mohammad Osiur., & Shafique, Mubashsharul., & Scavino, Edgar & Hussain, Aini & Basri, Hassan. The design of a complete uniform segmented display unit for Arabic alphanumeric characters.
1-7. 10.1109/ITSIM.2008.4631901. 2008. Link

3. Beg, M., & Ahmad, Wasim. Dot Matrix Alphanumeric Display System for Arabic. Consumer Electronics, IEEE Transactions on. CE-33.
47 - 50. 10.1109/TCE.1987.290216. 1987. Link


Construction City







This edition of hand-made flat weave kilim rugs explores the perpetually changing landscape of Doha, framing the city as a place that is in constant reinvention. The process of construction is often viewed as a necessary nuisance, a disruption of the everyday working of the city. This body of work takes a different view, celebrating the sheer scale of Doha’s construction activities, and imagining an metropolitan identity that embraces this state of constant re-invention.
The motifs were developed by Levi Hammett and Maryam Al Homaid and explore both the mundane aspects of the construction city as well as the fabricated spaces and invented locations that continue to emerge as part of the urban landscape.
Hammett, Levi, & Maryam Al Homaid. Construction City. (Hand dyed wool, Hand woven). 2021.


Doha Hangout






A series of hand woven kilims investigating the concept of destination and manufactured spaces.
Al Homaid, Maryam. & Levi Hammett. Destination. (Hand dyed wool, Hand woven). 2021.


Temporary







A series of silk scarves.
Hammett, Levi. Temporary. (Silk). 2021.
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