Amidst all of our modern technologies, the typewriter still retains special significance. It’s a signifier of the writer, the critic, the intellectual. To own a typewriter as an ornament indicates a certain kind of person; to have a typewriter as a functioning object indicates yet another. Unlike the many multifunctional devices available today, typewriters were initially mono-functional. They did one thing and did it well.
Typewriter Art by Barrie Tullett chronicles the development of the typewriter as a medium for creating work far beyond anything envisioned by the machine’s makers and explains why it is still used by today’s artists as a medium despite its obsolescence as a writing tool.
For some artists, it is an object to draw—from the machine itself or the ephemera associated with it—or an object to make art from. For others, however, the typewriter is a tool to draw with; a means of making art wherein the keyboard acts as a “palette.”
Below are some noteworthy examples from the book of typewriter art from 1800 to present day. Enjoy!
Untitled by Flora F.F. Stacey (1898)
‘the words we use are lovely’ by J.P. Ward (1973)
‘Unusual Love Poem’ by Andrew Belsey (1987)
Featured image: ‘Looking Forward’ by Leslie Nichols (2010)
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