Sunday, August 23, 2015

A sinking ship?

This is the cover of today's New York Times Magazine.




A few observations on this fine illustration by Andrew Rae:

It's interesting that typewriters get such a prominent role as representatives of non-digital creativity, and as the device that is apparently going to be the last to sink. Weren't they already "sunk" circa 1985? Perhaps against the artist's intent, the illustration shows that typewriters aren't dead.

There are many people who haven't thrown away their analog devices, and are combining them with the digital in creative ways. Case in point: typospherians. Maybe this point is conveyed by the writer who's surfing on a typewritten sheet, wielding her fountain pen.

The article itself ("The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn't," by Steven Johnson) presents a somewhat reassuring view of the ability of artists to support themselves in the digital age. There's some encouraging news, such as the recent growth in independent bookstores, but the author's spin strikes me as overly optimistic. A sad truth is buried in the next-to-last paragraph: "Most full-time artists barely make enough money to pay the bills."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day & Typewriter Day

"It was the first Father's Day since my dad passed away and the first Typewriter Day I've ever acknowledged."

Read more from Louise Marler, our artist friend from a typewriter family.




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

International Typewriter Day 2015

It's just a week away, Tuesday, June 23, the anniversary date of the U.S. patent filed by Christopher Latham Sholes and company for an "Improvement in type-writing machines" which is a good enough reason to throw a type-party at the midpoint of the year.

Any plans for marking the date this year? Share in the comments!

Typewriter Day 2015

The Typewriter Project NYC

The Typewriter Project is currently active in Tompkins Square Park in New York City.

"The Typewriter Project is a series of site-specific literary installations which encourage users to go analog. These typewriter installations—wooden booths with a seat, desk, and typewriter inside—allow both professional writers and first time typists alike to join in a citywide lyrical exchange. Each booth is outfitted with a seat, desk, typewriter, 100-foot scroll of paper, solar generator, hidden tablet, and a USB typewriter kit, which allows every written entry to be collected, stored, and posted online for users to read, share, and comment upon. The Typewriter Project investigates the subconscious of the city by creating unique spaces designed for contemplation in which users can contribute to narrative of that particular location."


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tender Typosphere Spring in Austria, and language diversity in the Typosphere

The German-speaking typosphere seems to be gaining momentum. A new blog "Die Schreibmaschinisten" (approx.: "the writing machine operators") has been set up by Rodja Pavlik in Vienna, Austria. Have a peek at https://dieschreibmaschinisten.wordpress.com (use google translate if needed). Welcome Rodja to the Typosphere!

It is a curious phenomenon that no sizeable typospherian community has formed until now in German speaking countries (at, least judging from the web presence in form of blogs), given the high affinity and technical tradition in these parts. It was more in the countries surrounding Germany that typospherian flowers blossomed. This is the case of the Netherlands, and of Switzerland, where three blogs were active in the early 2010s (although all of them, at least predominantly, in English language). As of now, only one of Swiss blogs (Sommeregger's Sammelsurium) is active. Also, Shordzi recently re-activated the blog running alongside typewriters.ch, and here most of the entries are in German. We may add the new webpage of the Swiss typewriter collectors' club (SHBS.ch), which is blog-based. It is not a typical typospherian blog though, if such thing exists.

In times of google translate, language barriers matter less. It is perfectly feasible, and in my view commendable, to foster language diversity in the typosphere. The long-standing Spanish-speaking blogs give a perfect example and show the way. Passive knowledge of the other-than-English pages will allow you to practice this language, and at the same time for the author to write in his/her mother tongue. Google translate, which by now is,  at least for the major languages, a reasonable tool, will help in case. So we have entered a period where cross-language understanding is possible, even without, or only little knowledge of the other language.

All the more we welcome Rodja's initiative. Looking forward to a Vienna type-in (maybe in July?)