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 NEWS


Find the latest updates on our activities – announcements and information on exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and other events that we organize.

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02
Typing in tongues: writing machines around the world
Coming soon (2019)  •  London

EXHIBITION

Picture a typewriter and most likely what will come to mind is a compact machine, a familiar keyboard, and monospaced Latin alphabet. But how does a typewriter work for Hindi or Tamil, Arabic or Hebrew, Mongolian or Japanese; and what about devices to inscribe musical notations, or an alphabet for the blind. This exhibition situates the quintessential twentieth-century writing machine – the mechanical typewriter – within a rarely seen diversity of languages, interactions, and interfaces. But most of all, this selection of machines and mechanical devices offers a glimpse into the broad spectrum of ingenuity behind the production of textual matter in different writing systems: a look into the creativity and resourcefulness not only of innovators and manufacturers, but also that of adapters and users around the world.
 

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01
One letter at a time: index typewriters and the alphabetic interface
17 SEP – 30 OCT 2018  •  University of Reading

EXHIBITION


Drawing on a selection of non-keyboard ‘index’ typewriters, this exhibition explores how input mechanisms and alphabetic arrangements were devised and contested continually in the process of popularising typewrites as personal objects. The display particularly looks at how the letters of the alphabet have been variously comprehended, accessed, and handled, before being impressed on paper. The material on display demonstrates how this multiplicity was both occasioned by and flourished through a combination of mechanical ingenuity, conceptual reformulations, and commercial adventurism. As a set of imaginative responses to ‘mechanising’ the alphabet, index typewriters raise important questions in the key encounter (no pun intended!) between writing and technology.