Search “alternative uses for rubber bands” online and you’ll come across a host of innovative functions – makeshift bookmarks and tie-dye T-shirts included. You probably won’t, however, have encountered typography. At least, not until now. For photographer Victor Koroma, mundane objects, including but not limited to the elastic band, easily inspire transformation beyond their everyday function. “I’m always in toy stores like a kid looking around for objects that interest me in an artistic way,” he explains. For his newest project, Alphabet Aerobics, he was inspired by the curves and contortions of rubber bands, using them to conjure an entire alphabet of calligraphic letterforms.
The title of the photo series comes from a song by the American hip hop group Blackalicious, who spit spiralling alliterated lines: “perfected poem, powerful punch lines pummelling petty powder puffs in my prime,” for example. The process of creating his custom typography was no mean feat, each letter taking around half an hour to produce; Victor used and cut up 20 rubber bands, sometimes tossing them in the air, “letting chance, magic and the universe determine their out coming shape,” and at other points controlling their form himself.
When he’s not taking photos, Victor also produces electronic music under the moniker Shy Away, but this is the first time that music has had such a direct influence on one of his photography projects. “Alphabet Aerobics has always been a favourite hip hop song of mine because of how lyrically challenging and clever it is, so my mind naturally made the connection between the flexibility of the rubber bands and the flow of rappers’ lyrical abilities,” he explains.
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