I recently got an invitation by Adfactors PR to view an art installation. As an art installation of this kind was unheard of in India. It was a piece made from typewriters.
Typewriters have always fascinated me and so I was quite curious to go see the art installation. A typewriter still proudly sits on my desk along with a desktop, I don't use it much apart from writing letters to my husband (yes, we are very old school.) It is a beautiful to feel the letters on the other side of the page.
My mother who works for Maharashtra State Government had been using a typewriter until much recently when her office decide to go with :computerisation" (they had Godrej and Remington typewriters functional at their office) . I do feel happy to know that the Indian High Commission in London has reverted to using typewriters. From the two exams that she gave to get this particular job was a typewriting test (Maharashtra Public Service Commission & Typewriting Test). Typewriting test use to be quite a big deal back then and a good speed ensured a "government job". Please do see the video below from one of the Typewriting competitions.
Abhishek Jain won the typewriting completion back in 1995 and incidentally it happened to be a Godrej & Boyce typewriter.
Godrej Archives is committed to document the history of Godrej manufacturing in a visual and a text format and I was fortunate to be invited to this event in presence of the driving force of Godrej Archives, Pheroza Godrej and Navroze Godrej.
Godrej & Boyce stopped the production of typewriters in 2011 (The factory was in Satara, Maharashtra) and are now working on a book that documents the typewriters left in the country, whatever condition that they are in. So if you have a typewriter story get in touch with me or Godrej Archives directly.
The art installation was at Godrej Hubble opened in 2014 - Hs designed to be a space where people can share their ideas, network with each other and build communities. I have always believed that community over competition will always take us ahead. Thats the idea that thrives here and also at Google office when I got to visit them for a Youtube Creators Workshop.
Jeremy Mayers was invited by Godrej to make an art piece paying homage to their erstwhile product line. Mayer and team team of two boys, I am sure must be quite a happy team. Just like boys in a toyshop ! Jeremy is well know world around to create anthropomorphic sculptures through typewriters that reach him serendipitously. It is interesting to learn that he has never bought a typewriter to make a piece of art but friends and families and acquaintances world over have made sure that a typewriter reaches him.
Jeremy uses as little as possible of any foreign objects or methods such as welding, gluing etc.
"Lotus" and "Mandalas" were created by Mayers inspired from 5 months that he spent here as an Artist-in-Residence at Godrej archives campus. He started working on this installation as a part of Godrej & Boyce project. This project "Encourages encourages artist across the globe to restore, recreate and reimagine the past in order to create art that will inspire the future."
The 13- foot high sculpture is displayed at Godrej Hubble and will be there till the time permits. Jeremy along with his team has used 60 typewriters from the last batch of typewriters. It consists of 15 petals with each petal being made with more than 200 parts from the typewriters. For this piece Jeremy has used some fabrication invisible to our eyes.
To head to the future is a nice path to take but I am a dweller of the past. As much as Jeremy's Lotus is beautiful to look at and makes us hopeful of the future to have a strong connect to old anecdotes , I am sad to see the dis-assembling of typewriter. Perhaps one day someone will be dis-assembling any post new age piece to take a path that takes us to the times gone by.
Also, I have to have to say that I am extremely happy with the initiative like Godrej Archives. We need documentation of everything that have and I would love to see how they take this mammoth task upon them. Warm wishes to them !