By Cory Doctorow at 11:46 pm Tue, Jul 22, 2008
See also: Humanoid sculptures made from old typewriters
It’s worth hanging onto that other definition of classic – an example that defines its class. I would argue that you are defining “collectible” rather than “classic”.
As a typewriter, I am horrified.
I hate sites that try to re-size my browser window.
Yeah, it’s really abusive Flash. My 1024×768 screen really chokes on it. But the images are gorgeous.
Wait for the flash to load. So worth it!
Along similar, or at least obliquely related, lines, have you seen the disturbingly biomorphic Hebrew typography that Oded Ezer has been doing?
Don’t worry about old typewriters disappearing, because there’s always someone out there who can’t throw their stuff away, then they die and their kids sell it on ebay. It’s lots easier than saving all the junk yourself. That’s why crazy people were invented in the first place.
Oh yeah- and the sculptures were cool too. Props to you Jeremy.
When you consider how many of these machines rust in junk piles or dusty attics this use of them seems not only acceptable but inspired on those terms alone.
I have to comment about Rob1000’s comment in regard to the concern that stripping old typewriters to make odd assorted adornments–or in Jeremy Mayer’s case–unique one-of-a-kind sculptures is fairly inane. I don’t mean to be rude by saying that, but I strongly object to the comparison of Mayer’s work to a “cool art project.” His work was displayed at the Nevada Museum of Art last year, so I think his contribution is slightly more elevated above “cool art project.” There’s really no comparison between collectibles of any sort and original art work (in my opinion)–unless of course the caliber of work completed by the artist is less than satisfactory. Mayer’s work is a painstaking process of assembling all original pieces–there is no “artificial” interjection of other materials in order to bind the parts together (i.e., glue or welding). Personally, I would gladly provide Mr. Mayer any number of Altair 8800s for creating one of his sculptures.
Oh dear. I’ll have to say that the first thing I thought was “typewriter beetles with talking anuses“.
This is awesome, however. Far superior to animals out of auto parts (which is starting to feel rather clichÃ©d.
Also along these lines, a Boston-based artist known to me only as “Skunk”, who’s got an online gallery here, including a weapons section featuring such oddities as the Kenny G Eliminator, a clarinet-based weapon suitable for “all defenders of decent music”, which plays Louis Armstrong when you pull the trigger…
At first glance, my reaction was similar to Rob1000’s – as someone fond of vintage writing machines (they really are marvels in themselves) it pains me to see them cannibalized for craft projects. Why butcher a gorgeous machine for a “Back Space” cufflink?
But Mayer’s art is clearly in a different class. It’s absolutely breathtaking and I wish I could see it in person. He’s taken the mechanical beauty of typewriters and placed it gorgeous new contexts.
Still, I hope he’s not using an Olivetti Valentine, Mignon, or Oliver in his work.
There is some concern by folk who collect vintage typewriters that making cufflinks, ear rings, etc. by stripping “old” typewriters could potentially ruin a one of kind engineering marvel. That being said, most old typewriters are indeed pretty common, but it can take an educated eye to tell the difference. Imagine stripping an Altair 8800 to make a cool art project.
The problem is that if you follow that logic far enough, we never get rid of ANYTHING on the grounds that it might be a classic someday. Today’s giant toxic pile of tires is tomorrow’s priceless potsherds.
“Classic” usually denotes something that was produced in great quantity, then had most of the stock disappear. It’s not a classic until that second part occurs — so if everyone mylar-bags their comics and keeps them in an acid-free environment, they’ll never be considered classics. For “classicification” to occur, the majority of copies need to be destroyed.
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