Wednesday, June 14, 2017

AP Typewriter Article and Typing Assignments

Olympia SF

I was pleased to see in my inbox a link to this Associated Press article about the typewriter revival. I knew it was in the works when I was interviewed, back in early April, by the article's author, Russell Contreras, who I met again at the Type-In later that month.

These kinds of stories come out once every few years, it seems. Just do a quick search and you'll see that the typewriter revival has been ongoing for at least a decade. They're fueled as much by the novelty and romantic ideas of these classic old machines as they are by the reality of more and more people rediscovering and putting them to practical use.

Which gets us to the subject of a new project I'm starting on my YouTube channel, Typing Assignments. This is inspired a great deal by Ted Forbes's photo assignments series on his The Art of Photography channel, where he gives an assignment, permits time for participants to create the required images, then culls them from social media and presents a slide show of the results.

I'm going to be using a similar method, but will be asking participants to post a link to the online image of their one-page typewritten piece as a comment to an accompanying blog article, to be posted here every Monday, along with the YouTube video of the new assignment.

As the series progresses, I will be showing highlights of people's work as a slide show in the next week's video. This will be the most challenging part of the project, getting images of sufficient quality from the participants' postings and including them in the video.

What interests me in this project is the idea of promoting creative uses for typewriters. Sure, we love to look at them as a form of decor; and many of us also enjoy tinkering with them; along with the thrill of the hunt for new specimens, for our museums of mechanical wonders. But it's the practical use of typewriters as catalysts for creative writing that I'm interested in pursuing - a subject that has been visited repeatedly on my Typewriter Video Series.

Here's the kickoff video to this new series:

And here's a how-to video on scanning and photographing typewritten sheets for online posting:

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Blogger Unknown said...

What a fantastic idea! I have been trying to use my machines more and more. I am getting braver at taking them out and typing in public as well. I look forward to the first assignment.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I watched that video waiting for a prompt, the whole thing... it would be good to include bullet points to the prompt or the rules for playing along so that people don't have to watch all 9 minutes. I am somewhat interested in this... post a prompt!

11:21 AM  
Blogger Bill M said...

I read the article earlier today. Congratulations! Fine article, and good to see you in the news.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

The article is a fine one, and it's been a little while since the media took notice of us, so this is welcome. Albuquerque turns out to be a good vantage point for observing the typewriter insurgency.

Good luck with the typing assignment project. I have to bow out because I've got too much else on my plate (and am about to travel for a month).

12:19 PM  
Blogger TokyoJAM said...

So excited to participate in this! I made a new web page for my entries. So far Assignments 1 and 2 are posted. Love this!

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