Premature reports of the typewriter’s demise caused much internet mourning, and an equal amount of relief once the rumor was found to be false. The typewriters enduring appeal provides ample opportunity to consider artist Keira Rathbone’s off-beat employment of this beloved media from a bygone media era.
Keira has been creating pictures and portraits by typing since 2003 and has recently brought her work and methods on the road, creating portraits at Glastonbury 2011.
Though belonging to an older aesthetic of typewriter art one can also see how these artworks are evocative of the ASCII art scene. Keira Rathbone asserts that she is inspired by images that are made up from smaller constituent parts, something at the basis of images displayed on a TV screen and an essential element of pointilism: which was recently revisited in the Human Printer Project.
One element of Keira’s artwork that sets her apart from the lineage of previous typewriter artists is her penchant for ‘live typing’, where she creates typewriter portraiture in front of a live audience (see the video below for a taster of this).