Robot Typewriters Come Alive
It's been a while since I've had to write on a manual typewriter regularly (though I wrote a prior post where an old manual saved my life). Even as a kid watching my father type on his IBM Selectric that sounded like a machine-gun nest, I was fascinated by all the mechanics that went on inside. As I pursued writing in high school, I bought a 1930's Underwood manual typewriter because it felt important to get in touch with what it meant to be a “real” writer.
Watching the Underwood's insect-like iron mechanisms give life to my words was occasionally an emotional experience (especially if I typed a little too fast and the typebars got tangled up). I really did feel in a way that the typewriter was alive, so I might not have been surprised when the machine sprang to life into one of Jeremy Mayer's sculptures.
Mayer has created a series of sculptures that capture the mysteriously delicate, yet sturdy, inner structures of living things using old typewriters. I'm mystified at the curves and supple shapes that are sourced from office castoffs, and how each piece is simultaneously alive and yet coldly robotic. Steampunk & “Naked Lunch” fans take note...