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Invisible Hieroglyphics. Turning Touchscreen Residue Into Art.

Invisible Hieroglyphics is an experimental collaboration Between Andre Woolery (whose wonderful thumbtack art I shared with you here) and Victor AbiJaoudi II.

The two artists studied how people interact with technology while using some of the most popular apps on the iPad (e.g. Angry Birds, e-mail, Facebook, Temple Run, Twitter, Camera and Fruit Ninja). They preserved the fingerprints and strokes left behind by the grease from use by photographing them and turning them into actual artworks.

Andre and Victor describe the project as follows:
"As the world becomes more digital, we pull further away from an analog, handcrafted world. However, the one remaining human component of the digital experience is touch. Our hands have become the communication conduit through devices with a series of taps, swipes, and pushes. Left behind, on our electronic devices like smart phones and tablets, are the oil-stained remains of finger smudges on a screen. We have extracted these marks and transformed them into vibrant, acrylic prints."

Examples of prints from popular apps are shown below.

Fruit Ninja:

Angry Birds:

Temple Run:




Paper Toss:


Hieroglyphics is a system of writing that serves as a form of communication. They represent an imprint of the world as it was told in the past for the future to decipher and understand. These writings are a window into another world. Today, the touchscreen interface is our window into another world and the writings are smudged onto the screen instead of carved into stone. Its subtle, but if you strip away the hardware and software, what’s left is a finger painting that illustrates the story of how we communicate.

The colors are vibrantly portrayed on satin paper that is placed between a white backing and 1/4” acrylic glass. The acrylic glass gives each piece an incredible luminosity and optical depth that mimics an actual screen.

Also note that the limited edition B/W artwork offers a unique, 3D appearance as the white paint is on top of the acrylic:


Andre Woolery:
“Its very much a representation of who I am. I work in digital media during the day and make art at night. So it is a manifestation of that collision of digital+analog, screen+hands, day+night, … Increasingly there seems to be a divide between the two and this is an interesting way to unify them in a natural way.“

Victor Abijaoudi:
“For me, it's about paying attention. By paying attention, you realize that art is everywhere. And by recognizing art, we recognize humanity. With all that is distracting in today's world, we could all use a little reminder of what matters most - being human. Everyone is creative and everyone creates. Even if just with your fingers as you check your email. ”


They collected a series of apps ranging from daily productivity to social networking and gaming. What they uncovered is a really interesting set of blueprints for interaction. A shout out to all the user experience designers that worked on all these apps… this artwork is as much theirs as it is a showcase of human intuitive pathways.

If you have an app not included that you would like to request a commission, contact them here.


As with every new project, there has to be a way to give back to the area of inspiration. In this case, digital technology has done so much for Andre and Victor's lives in various ways that they want to ensure its also inspires the youth. As the world progresses, the ability to understand technology is absolutely critical. Andre and Victor want kids to be able to code, design, prototype because that is at the core of the future's infrastructure. Therefore 10% of proceeds of this project will go to CODE NOW…

Purchase Invisible Hieroglyphics Prints here

Andre Woolery

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