I work with art every day; mechanical, functional, useful art. My typewriters make noises. They click, and rattle, and ‘ding!’ They’re physical. They require me to use my hands, my fingers, my brain. Sometimes the keys jam, or the ribbon stops, or something happens that I have to think about, fiddle wit, and fix. They require me to use a machine, to force it to do what I want it to do. They force me to create.
Writing on my typewriters is a completely different experience than writing on one of the glowing screens of glass that occupy every other part of my day. It’s a collaboration that results in a physical object, not a fleeting digital moment destined to evaporate into the ether.
The art I make on my typewriter may not be good art. It may not be something anyone will ever read, but it’s something I made. It’s unique. It exists.
Each of the letters I type are different because I strike some keys softly and others firmly. Each letter is individually flawed. Each word is imperfect. My typos are permanent. The paper is damaged because the type-slugs make indentations and cutouts against the hardened platen. And each of those acts of uniqueness is it’s own kind of perfection.
Writing on a typewriter is a tiny act of creation I. My machines let me create something every day, whenever I wish.