chronotext is a growing collection of software experiments exploring the relation between text, space and time

beyond typography

The potential locked inside text in the digital age is huge. En route for some uncharted territories!


java is broken!

Some older experiments are no longer playing. Therefore, java links will be crossed-out.

who's who

Behind this site is Ariel Malka, Paris based designer and programmer, half of whose time is spent working on a wide range of interactive projects, the other half dedicated to research at

Questions and feedback are welcome:

keep in touch

4 ways to be informed when new works are ready…

1. Mailing list:

2. @arielmalka on Twitter

3. thick.word.soup on Instagram

4. Facebook group


In the country where I live, human rights legitimacy has been challenged by right wing politicians, so it doesn't hurt to raise awareness about a few principles.

At the occasion of the Human Rights Day, I decided to create a site featuring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and offering 5 differents ways of reading it.
Another look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights | 2022


Discovering hicetnunc, the now defunct NFT marketplace and community. Thanks to the low minting costs and the capability to host interactive works, I was able to mint most of the chronotext experiments, nowadays accessible via Teia.



Where do Georges Perec, Golan Levin and Jello Biafra meet on the web? On ubuweb:sound of course!

As a tribute to one of my favorites websites, I had this idea of proposing an alternative interface to the entry page.


It took me a while but it finally happened:

TextNoise is an iPhone app for playing with text and generating sound.

It allows sharing via e-mail, SMS, and WhatsApp, so let's hope it goes viral!
ubu/ui | 2020
let the content flow

TextNoise | 2020
making sound with gravity or touch


After almost a decade, the time has come for a new web-based work.

Text tree is a tool that allows you to challenge the notion of sentence by writing in a non-linear fashion.

It's the first chronotext experiment with online sharing capabilities. Looking forward to seeing what people will create with it!
text tree | 2018
making textual bonsais


A new period of transition… Switching to my own cross-platform C++ and OpenGL framework, and putting it to use for saving from digital extinction a number of chronotext experiments made with java a while ago.


Back to the mobile business! This time, the plan for world domination seems promising:

1. Picking No. 1 topping the list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century

2. Creating an addictive game allowing the player to interact with passages from the No. 1 novel on mobile phones and tablets

A couple of challenges remain: How do we reach players, and once we've reached them, how do we keep their attention?
He liked thick word soup | 2014
reading Ulysses with your fingers


The last couple of years have been a time of transition…

The metamorphosis is now complete, as proven by my latest creation Lui les Hébreux moi Pharaon.

After 10 years of experimentation, the existing body of work is about to undergo a remastering.

First in the starting lineup: the never-before-published Javascriptorium from 2006.
Lui les Hébreux moi Pharaon | 2013
take on Guillaume Apollinaire's poem La chanson du mal-aimé, mixing its written and spoken forms


Java has become irrelevant: no longer deployable inside the browser and not supported on Apple mobile devices…

So please welcome our new partners: cross-platform C++ and the Cinder framework.

The first product of the new era is textoy, which is also my first experiment featuring interaction with sound.
textoy | 2011
physical text interaction, with a zest of sound generation


A year under the signs of Apple, Twitter and the Muse of Music…

Babel Tower – the first chronotext iPhone app – was launched, followed by Text Dune, the first in a series of experimental Twitter readers.

Alongside them, Twitter Maze was produced in response to the call of Written Images:

«looking for artists who would like to provide a generative image-creating application for a book»

Stay tuned for more on my collaborations with two music makers…
twitter maze | 2010
visualizing trends from the past 24 hours

text dune | 2010
reading your own notes or Twitter timeline by making text slide over a virtual dune


The iPhone seeks to become the main experimental channel for chronotext this year, and the steering committee is likely to answer the request…

Our experiments representative was quoted earlier, before fainting:

What a relief after years at a desktop computer screen, stuck inside Java and hardly visited… People are going to interact physically with us, touching, tilting, shaking us… God!
iphone experiments, generation 1 | 2009
3D news reader | dune reader | rollercoaster reader | babel tower reader | worm reader


After years of solo research, the time has come for another level of interactivity with the public.

A new avenue of research will yield a growing collection of software experiments that can be fed with markup data or controlled by script.

These experiments are called slashruns and they're waiting for your participation at!
the war of the words | 2008
a slashrun that will turn you into a general, commanding an army of words


A foretaste of the feast to come.

Building on the software toolkit developed at over the years, a handful of real-time 3D applications are ready to emerge.

Alongside them, a growing interest in augmented reality, folksonomy, and live data sources in general will spice up the menu…
mapping, augmented | 2007
the art of mixing virtual content with actual photographic material


A year of recognition and maturity…

The ongoing research on text at can now be described from a perspective of two thousand years of Bible reading, with the commission of a permanent work at the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Additionally, considerable progress has been made in OpenGL technology, multiplying the previous figures (dozens of thousands of text characters are now flying overhead…)
javascriptorium | 2006
a metaphorical journey in 3 episodes on the theme of desert wandering…

behind the scenes at the javascriptorium | 2006


Thanks to OpenGL, a technology previously used in costly military flight simulators and later on in electronic games, it is now possible to animate thousands of text characters in real time, laying the groundwork for a new generation of applications.

Beginning to envision works suited to physical presentation spaces (at the very same time, the Israel Museum is knocking down my door…)
sketchbook on the book | july 2005
a series of sketches wherein one can read the Biblical Book of Isaiah mapped on a virtual landscape


Several invitations to produce new works are the occasion to create more complete pieces.

Additionally, the processing period is reaching its completion, and a new era of pure java (or whatever works) is dawning…

featured pieces


Playing with the various components developed for the book of sand:


Discovering processing, a genuine programming environment, an active community, and a powerful metaphor provider: a paradigm shift!

The first version of is released, with a series of minimalistic sketches exploring the myriad possibilities offered by dimensional type.

featured sketches

attic – don't delete!

An additional collection of sketches reflecting how chronotext is evolving: each bit focuses on a technical or metaphorical aspect likely to be incorporated later on:


Programmatic experiments using dynamic-html and flash. Lack of appropriate framework, nothing worth publishing…


The concept of chronotext is emerging after a lengthy, random exploration of the theme of interactivity in digital space ended in a series of epistemological experiences.
© 2003-2023  ariel malka