The Secret Life of Typewriters
In 2017, my daughter Nicole and I created this exhibit. My contribution was photography, some of which is included in this gallery. Below is the artists’ statement that Nicole provided.
The original inspiration for this project was the so-called junk room in our house in Talladega, Alabama, and in particular its more obscure and mysterious denizens among the cogs, gears, ball bearings, electrodes, and ailing or defunct gadgets of all sorts. Some had especially complex or whimsical features, some clearly stood out as distinct personalities. One was a jester, a bird, a rabbit, or all three; many had hinged and swiveling joints and gymnastic limbs moving towards a no longer understood purpose. I was very attached to some of them. For instance I loved to carry around Henry the car jack, and he still keeps me company while I’m working in my studio.
We lived in that house from l97l-l 978, until right before my seventh birthday. For fun I would “help” my father with repair projects or take apart gadgets like old televisions that were past repair. In addition to the more organized tools of the tinkerer’s trade, the clearly-useful-someday screws, nut s, bol t s, and washer s, there was a more various junk box that held the uncategorizable. These were my favorites.
Thinking of that time and how this stuff, sometimes very odd stuff, fed my imagination, I thought of doing artwork inspired by the junk box. Since I owe this particular source of inspiration to my father, I asked him if he would be interested in collaborating.
When we started to look at what was left of the junk, we found it still contained a most respectable collection of odd objects. But to me it wasn’t the same. I had already taken some of my favorites, while over the years others had become part of a ham radio antennae or espresso machine or who knows what. Everything is influx.
So we looked for the machines, or remnants of machines, that had the most complex, elaborate, organically formed, variously moving and intricately related part , the most promisingly personality-fill ed mechanical beings that we could locate.
Of course they were creatures of another time.
Note: No working typewriters were harmed in the creation of this exhibition.