Vintage Typewriters Taken Apart & Reassembled into Movable Bird Sculptures | My Modern Met

By Jessica Stewart on July 18, 2022

When typewriters were common, Twitter wasn’t a thing. Now, these vintage machines have been transformed into various tweeters.

Nearly 30 years ago, sculptor Jeremy Mayer disassembled a typewriter. And in doing so, he found a medium that allow him to express his creativity, as well as his fondness for the vintage machine. Like most people of a certain age, Mayer remembers growing up with a typewriter in the home. As a child, he was fascinated with its design and movement. Now, as an adult, his sculptures—which include an ever-growing series of birds—are aesthetic marvels that make us think about the past and where technology is headed.

Each sculpture is assembled from the parts of different typewriters that Mayer has collected over the past several decades. As he doesn’t use glue or solder pieces together, the sculptures come together using the screws, nuts, and bolts from the typewriter.

“The whole process is kind of like Legos or an Erector set,” he tells My Modern Met. “My studio process is building a huge puzzle with infinite combinations, only using what’s immediately available to me. Building involves a lot of disassembly and then reassembly of the sculpture in progress, as things don’t always hold together or look quite right the first time around. It can be immensely frustrating, but always, ultimately, rewarding.”

From striking ravens that bob their heads to delicate sparrows that can spread their wings, Mayer’s bird sculptures masterfully capture the personality of each animal. After several decades of using typewriters—a choice that was initially sparked by his love of recycling and budget constraints—he continues to be inspired by them. “Choosing this one specific way to make art and foster a relationship to a single machine,” Mayer shares, “has been an ever-changing and rewarding journey.”[…]

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