Monday, February 8, 2010

Underwood Noiseless c. 1922

Ever since I've started working on collages, I feel the impatient need for a manual typewriter. I've always loved using text in images, and nothing quite compares to the mark making of a typewriter's key stroke. After a quick internet search for a manual typewriter, I realized none would carry as much meaning as if I retrieved my grandfather's 1922 Underwood Noiseless from my parents' basement and refurbished it. My grandfather, Giuseppe Ferretti, was a mechanical man. As a young boy in Italy, he would scour the junk yards for bed springs, reconfigure them, and fix clocks with them. Later, he invented an instrument called the shovelene, a combination bass guitar, violin, and horn instrument. He invented contraptions for the kitchen, guillotine clam openers, spatulas out of stainless steel, napkin holders, so fixing his typewriter with a can of WD 40 seems quite appropriate. As far as typewritten text in collages, Ray Johnson's use of text and image fueled his Correspondence School, with his typewritten letters crossing into conceptual art. Now all I need to do is find a ribbon.

No comments: