Dialectograms 101

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Mitch Miller is an illustrator, writer and researcher on visual culture. He ‘invented’ the illustrative style of the Dialectogram in 2009 and has since worked with residents, employees, users and visitors in a number of different places and spaces. A dialectogram is a process as much of a product; based on intensive research it blends the memories and experiences of these participants with documentary and ethnographic techniques to illustrate forgotten and disappearing places in Glasgow. The image is created as a ‘social’ or participatory practice, in phases of fieldwork, drawing and discussion, in close collaboration with communities who help shape and direct the illustrative process. These thoughts, stories and ideas are drawn directly onto an A0 mountboard as a single, dense and often incredibly complex illustration.  On completion this is  scanned and produced as a high-quality digital print for the participants, is offered to appropriate public collections.

Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Mitch has worked variously as a social researcher, educator, sign painter, sessional lecturer and film programmer (depending on what day of the week it is). In-between all this he has co-authored three books and has been widely published as an art and film critic on subjects ranging from early and amateur cinema, contemporary art and illustration and Scottish politics, and is an acknowledged expert on the history of travelling showpeople in Scotland (being from that background himself). Read his CV here.

He has shown his work at Market Gallery, an Tobar, Somerset House, The People’s Palace, Mitchell Library, Glasgow Film Festival, The Lighthouse, New Glasgow Society, Sheffield International Documentary Festival, the Centre for Contemporary Arts and The Telfer Gallery. Along with Emma Lennox he co-authored and illustrated the experimental web-documentary Boswell in Space. Mitch holds a PhD in  Communications Design from the Glasgow School of Art and lives with his wife in the East End of Glasgow where many of his immediate family and relatives are quartered during the winter.


Mitch is always keen to hear from anyone interested in working with him on future dialectograms!


DIALECTOGRAPHY- Some Bedtime Reading…

Games’ End, Collective Gallery, 2015 (free e-publication)

Illustrating space as collaborative, socially-engaged practice: The first report from the DRAW DUKE STREET Residency, VaroomLab Issue 2, June 2013.

Nothing is Lost, Freight Books (LIMITED EDITION!)