WORD WELLNESS consists of backwards played Wellness Tracks (e.g. from Wellness Resort Introduction Videos on Youtube) which accompany & soundtrack animations. The animations show the most common words in the English Language undergoing different wellness treatments. THE. BE. TO. TIME. GOOD. They are the „WORD“ in WORD WELLNESS. If you put the words in a certain order you get THE TIME TO BE GOOD. But that`s a coincidence I guess.
These words, so often used and spoken are set and presented in Helvetica. Helvetica is considered by many the most used Font in the world. You`ll find & see the typeface everywhere in daily life. On your computer as a pre-installed font, on billboards, websites, street-signs. Helvetica can essentialize a luxury product, an airline, a record cover and many more. Going back to its origins Helvetica as a typeface is deeply connected to the Mid 20th century postmodern school of Swiss-Design. The Swiss School of Design wanted to break with the preexisting rules of Graphic Design. Their commitment to a style of design was connected and mirrored in a certain way of life. They lived as they designed. There seemed to be a holistic aspect to Swiss Design. If you commit to a style you simultaneously commit to an attitude.
Coming to the „WELLNESS“ in WORD WELLNESS. Wellness as the phenomenon as which we know it today also appeared in the 1950s. Wellness was defined as an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable. It requires that individuals maintain a continuum of balance and purposeful direction within the environment where they are functioning. A few decades back, wellness was the preserve of small groups of alternative lifestylers. Today, wellness has gone mainstream. But don`t get me wrong. Nothing particularly bad about the mainstream.
To be more precise: I spend the last 6 months in South Africa and recognized that a huge amount of companies have wellness-departments next to their offices or offer wellness-programs for their employees during the week-ends. Employees can improve not just their health, but also their corporeal image. Wellness practices are used to create a stronger sense of corporate belonging. They can transform every conceivable activity into an opportunity to optimize pleasure and become more productive. There`s of course more to it. But I`ll leave it at that for the moment.
Similar to Helvetica Wellness got separated from its substance or original mindset. I realized that a huge amount of cultural tendencies inevitably get incorporated into capitalist ideologies and become imperatives & fetishes over time. I was sad & angry about it. That`s when Word Wellness started. Taking Helvetica and Wellness as examples I was wondering how to communicate nowadays. A way of writing & design that defies, that removes itself from the Market. Possible? I am not sure. Step one seems to me to highlight the situation. In this case its Word Wellness. Not to forget the music! I back-masked the tracks to see if there are some evil or manipulative messages hidden in them. Listen for yourself. Also I wanted to go back in time. Not retromanic. More like in movies where a person travels back in time to change the future. Although connected to country music the old joke stuck in my head:
— What do you get when you play a country song backwards?
— You get your house back, your wife back, your dog back, your truck back...