Paul Elliman

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Paul Elliman

Paul Elliman (1961) is a British artist and designer based in London. His work combines an interest in typography and the human voice, often referring to forms of audio signage that mediate a relationship between them. His typeface Found Fount (aka Bits) is an ongoing collection of found ‘typography’ drawn from objects and industrial debris in which no letter-form is repeated.

Elliman's work has addressed the instrumentalisation of the human voice as a kind of typography, engaging the voice in many of its social and technological guises, as well as imitating other languages and random sounds of the city including the non-verbal messages of emergency vehicle sirens, radio transmissions and the muted acoustics of architectural spaces.

He has exhibited in the Institute of Contemporary Arts[1] and Tate Modern[2] in London, the New Museum and Moma (Ecstatic Alphabets, 2012) in New York,[3] APAP in Anyang, South Korea,[4] and Kunsthalle Basel. In 2009 his project "Sirens Taken for Wonders" was commissioned for the New York biennial Performa09,[5] and took the form of a radio discussion about the coded language of emergency vehicle sirens, as well as a series of siren-walks through the city.

In 2010 he contributed a series of whistled versions of bird song transcriptions by Olivier Messiaen for the show We Were Exuberant and Still Had Hope, at Marres Centre for Contemporary Art, Maastricht.[6]

Elliman is visiting critic at Yale School of Art,[7] New Haven, and a thesis supervisor at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, Netherlands.


  1. ^ "A Recent History: Paul Elliman". ICA. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2011.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis". Tate Modern. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. ^ "The Sound of Things: Unmonumental Audio". New Museum. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Shah, Samir (23 November 2009). "Sirens Taken for Wonders". Urban Omnibus. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  6. ^ "We Were Exuberant and Still Had Hope. Ettore Sottsass: works from Stockholm, 1969 – Marres Maastricht – Centre For Contemporary Culture". 10 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15.
  7. ^ Heiges, Nathan (2007). "FACULTY: Paul Elliman, Designer". Yale University. Retrieved 30 April 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Paul Elliman at Wikimedia Commons