The book “4:1” is the result of an experiment in reducing languages to shared symbolic imagery.

Four individuals of different nationalities were asked to compile narrative ‘story lines’ with a given set of 90 symbols. Each language uses a different alphabet or ideogrammatic system: simplified Chinese, Russian (Cyrillic), Italian (Roman), Hebrew (Hebraic). (In the case of Hebrew, pages are placed in the back of the book and read left to right.)

The set of given symbols are derived from commonly used words or concepts in an archetypical (international) student house hold.

Each language remains illegible to the other individuals. The pictograms thus form a bridge between languages allowing for an intuitive understanding of each composed narrative.