A few years ago, I started making a piece of typewriter art. I am so grateful to the editors of the final edition of Cold Hard Type for selecting that work for inclusion in Margin Releases. It feels like the perfect place for the artwork after years of not being able to decide how to get the pieces out into the world.
I don’t want to give too much away, because I hope that people will buy the book and enjoy all the contributions fresh, with no big spoilers.
And so I will just share some photos of the machine I used to make the artworks.
I have wanted to take a typewriter for a ride for a long time, and finally got around to it. Unfortunately a dog scared the birds away almost as soon as I sat down to type a picture of them, so I’m afraid this trio is all I can offer. However not to worry, I brought my swimming kit, so all is fine and dandy.
The water is 16.6 degrees C, about as warm as it will get this summer. The safer seas and rivers app tells me the water is also clean enough to swim in. I never venture in these days without checking. Southern Water has an abominable reputation for dumping untreated sewage into the sea, and this year was fined millions for its misdemeanours. But today all is looking pretty nice.
Yes! It’s a photo of a machine I’m happy to be addicted to. Also, I finally got around to taking some nothing else in the background shots of my Underwood Five.
What a massive hunk of machine with only one purpose. “I’m here to serve your every writing need. I promise not to distract you, or judge you. I promise I never even thought about trying to spy on your friends or track your every step around town. I won’t measure your waking hours or interrupt you when you are eating with friends and family or reading a book. I’m yours, I’m just waiting for you. Whenever you’re ready.”
Imagine what the makers of this machine would make of that imagined typewriter dialogue. They would be shocked, horrified. Amused? Bewildered? What kind of world has this machine travelled to? One in which we do still have a choice. It’s worth clinging onto choices.