News, , , , , , , , — October 21, 2011 17:05 — 0 Comments

The typewriter art of Keira Rathbone

Typewriter artist Keira Rathbone. Photograph by Keira Rathbone ©

Keira Rathbone may look like a throw-back to the 1950s, but there is something distinctly modern, and original in her work

The typewriter through the eyes of an 8yr old: ‘A computer that prints while you type and you don’t have to plug in.’

Children have a great way of seeing the world and the above tweet came from the recent Wired Conference in London.

In today’s hi-tech world the humble typewriter may seem like a relic to some, but it still has its uses. How many writers do we read about who insist on working on a typewriter rather than a ‘word processor’? Remember word processors?

For writers the benefit of keeping it old school is that it makes you think before you type, the other benefits are they are mobile and can print in ‘real’ time.

London-based Keira Rathbone uses vintage typewriters to create her own ‘computer art’ and is living proof that we don’t always need the latest technology such as smartphones or computers to produce work in a post-digital era; sometimes what we have already is more than enough.

In a recent article, Keira was described as ‘that cooky girl with a vintage typewriter’, and although she adopts that 50s-style look she is certainly no gimmick.

By using a typewriter to tap out letters numbers and symbols instead of brush or pencil strokes, or pixels for that matter, her work certainly adds a new dimension to the visual image and she is one of only a handful of people creating ‘typewriter art’.

But her work is far from exclusive. Keira can draw pretty much anything on her typewriter and she covers a variety of subjects from special commissions, portraits, landscapes and architecture.

One common thread that runs through her work like a typewriter ribbon is that apart from leaving a lasting impression on the paper, it’s highly original, distinctive and is created in the, and of the, now.

I recently caught up with Keira at Alexandra Palace in London. See my short film (below), made on another mobile device: the iPhone 4, to watch Keira recreating the TV mast at the old home of the British Broadcasting Company.

To see a more detailed look at how Keira works see this film by Peter T Breen.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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