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Endangered Alphabets Obelisk

11' x 12" x 12"

Ash Wood & Steel

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, VT  May-November 2021

The Obelisk incorporates characters, symbols, and scripts drawn from living, yet endangered, languages and their writing systems spanning the four corners of the world. Due to shifting tides in politics, migration, armed conflict and developmental pressures, many of these unique writing systems and languages are on the verge of disappearing.

While all writings on the obelisk are still in use today, some of these alphabets can now only be written by as few as five or so writers. Centuries of accumulated knowledge and tradition are being lost within as little as two generations to the very cultures that created them.

These alphabets are wrapped around the wood of an Ash tree—a tree central to the native Vermont Abenaki story of creation. The Ash tree itself is now endangered due to the Emerald Ash Borer beetle.
The Obelisk stands about 11' tall.

Brattleboro Museum
Story of the Endangered Alphabets Obelisk
Endangered Alphabets Project
Omniglot Writing Systems Encyclopedia

BMAC Installed 4.5.21.jpeg
Weeding stencils.JPG
Obelisk Alphabets
Unwrapped Obelisk.jpg
IMG_0112 outdoor paint stem.jpg
Treehouse obelisk.jpg
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