The calligram aspires playfully to efface the oldest opposition of our alphabetic civilization: to show and to name; to shape and to say; to reproduce and to articulate; to imitate and to signify; to look and to read – Michel Foucault

As Nichol discusses the necessity of using different forms to encompass different feelings, the film pictures the letters of the alphabet as a physical part of the environment. It is a scene in which representation by signs and representation by resemblance creates an inverted calligram — the letters are “pictured” as opposed to being used to create a picture.

Apollinaire's calligram, il pleut [it's raining]
Apollinaire’s calligram, il pleut [it’s raining]