A healthy tree can fight off plagues and diseases using a combination of methods. A tree can not repair damage, but isolates it from the sap stream, and then grows around it. This process is called CODIT, compartmentalization of decay in trees. A healthy tree can also use resin or latex to distribute chemicals that repel insects or pests.

Ips typographus is an unattractive looking beetle. It lays its eggs in tree bark, preferably of spruce or pine trees. The larvae dig themselves out, leaving a distinct tunnel pattern resembling an alien alphabet: hence its name, Letterzetter, Buchdrucker, Bostryche typographe, Корое́д-типо́граф.

Larvae in their tunnels. Image via Wikipedia.

The bark beetle in general can develop into a serious threat to conifer forests.

The Compositor Composing

Using an online image to audio converter, the image above was turned into sound. Of course, the image is not optimized for tunnel-reading. This is a test. Listen to the unfiltered audio file below:

The Compositor’s Skin

Wallpaper, dimensions variable, 2020. Using bark from The Plot, I designed wallpaper pattern.

The Compositor Composing, version II

IPS typographus font, by JoeBob Graphics, 2020

In 1998, JoeBob designed my graduation paper for the Academy of Arts in Den Bosch. Afterwards, he specialized in designing hand-written fonts, based on his own handwriting, including all clumsy, human ‘mistakes’. Of course he was the perfect person to take on my assignment of making a font out of Ips typographus patterns. I asked him if he could make the font 26% percent readable, which he magically did.