The typewriter is a mechanical tabulator, a character assasinator, a syntagmatic manipulator. It arranges textual space as a Cartesian plane, each letter occupying a unique position on the two-dimensional grid. It’s a machine for a linear, ordered world. It standardises writing, hammering out the personal flourishes and curlicues into mass-produced typeface. Rows and columns, ragged right. The typewriter belongs to the industrial age, soulmate of the sewing machine and the repeating rifle. And yet people respond to industrial artefacts in ways that could never have been imagined by the manufacturer. Typewriter art has been around as long as the typewriter itself. An optical illusion, feedback interaction between work and viewer, magical gasp of the mind as it perceives signal in the noise. Psychedelic concrete poetry, secret messages embedded in the cryptographic cascade. What comes first, the word or the image?
See more typewriter art.