Typewriters... the mother of our modern day keyboards, keypads and the grandmom of touchpads! The root of why 'hand writing' has almost gone extinct from the face of earth... drowning along with itself, another sublime science, the Art of Graphology.
Those were the days when the HR of any recruiter would smartly bypass verbatim talks of a candidate, looking for deeper truths ingrained in the curves of his pen-strokes. Today, rules of the game have changed. Just as unfair as it is to judge imperfections in the art of a pre-schooler.... predicting a person's character, intent and mood from bits of scribbled lines doesn't make sense if he does not use the medium regularly for self-expression. The very premise of Raj Kumar Hirani's recent movie, PK is an irony that the protagonist lovers cannot recognize each other's handwritings. Admittedly, I too cannot remember the last time I must have written a page by hand. Such is the influence typing has had on the last few generations of humans... that we've literally forgotten a trait we took millennia to develop. We learnt to type. We forgot to write.
While speaking of typewriters, let me mention it was nice meeting Jeremy Mayer and his art yesterday. This self-taught artist assembles typewriter components into interesting figurative elements. Beautiful, intelligent, interesting sculptures. Here, he is in India at the invitation of Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd. As a part of their Archives Outreach initiative, he has transformed 60 units from the last production of their typewriters of year 2009 into a kinetic floral shaped sculpture titled 'Lotus'. It now stands installed at Godrej Hubble at Vikhroli, Mumbai. Hubble is a space Godrej has designed to host exchange of ideas, network and to conduct community building exercises. Lotus is perhaps the first kinetic sculpture corporate India has had until now. No use of adhesives, welding, soldering techniques or paint. The rawness of machine components offers a riveting canvas to the delicate subject of a lotus flower.
Another point to ponder is a profound social statement Godrej has inadvertently made. It's been quite some time since computers have put the good old typewriter to extinction. With Jeremy's art, they get an additional lease of life. The same components that once lived as typewriters will now go on to live a life of another kind. The humble machines will live on in museums of another kind... the artistic ones!
My special note to Ms.Pheroza Godrej..... you should have hosted your event today instead.
Today, August 13th is World Organ Donation Day.