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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Days of 'I Am Typewriter' Set to Return - Another Dream Comes True

Some observant Typospherians may have already guessed it, but in the past five days I have been unearthing and digging through box upon box of typewriter ephemera. As I have come across things of particular interest - stuff which had been stored away years ago and forgotten about - I have put them aside with the plan to use them for future posts on this blog. The "Cream of Typewriters" coffee creamer caps post hardly even "skimmed the surface" (if you'll pardon the pun!).
Among the many items uncovered were five booklets produced by zinemakers to mark the "I Am Typewriter" festival held in Melbourne in February 2011.
Last October, during Richard Polt's presentation on his The Typewriter Insurgency book, given at the Herman Price Typewriter Collectors' Gathering at the Chestnut Ridge Typewriter Museum in Fairmont, West Virginia, I promised to post Richard these booklets (which I will now do). I figured (and Richard seemed to agree) that he might be able to make some use of these "modern manual typewriter applications". The titles include Mile High: Collected Ramblings From A Travelling Typewriter, QWERTY Pop, The Top Eleven Things To Do With a Typewriter Ribbon and Just My Typewriter.
Finding these booklets brought flooding back many happy memories of the "I Am Typewriter" festival, one of the most enjoyable experiences of my typewriter collecting career. For one thing, it enabled me to meet Tino ("The Teeritz Agenda") and catch up with Tom Koska (below).
Unfortunately (at least for me), the Sticky Institute decided not to follow it up last year with another typewriter-related event, but instead to hold a  similar tribute to the photocopying machine. I still have a chuckle to myself when I recall Richard's remark, upon hearing this news, that "'I Am Photocopier' doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?"
Victorian state and Melbourne city authorities might well have felt the same way. After the roaring success of "I Am Typewriter", attended by many hundreds of people, funding was reduced, the woman who had so superbly organised the 2011 festival lost her job, and these events seemed to disappear. 
"The Love Typist"
Thinking back on "I Am Typewriter" the other day, I had wishful visions of it some day returning, in some form or other. The way my luck is running at the moment, it now seems hardly surprising that my wish appears to have turned into someone's command.
This morning I was contacted about taking part in a similar event in Canberra next March 23. The CanberraZine Emporium evolved from this year's YAH (You Are Here) zine fair festival. It has just secured funding to fund a "ZINE vending machine". 
My involvement will be with a DIY (Do It Yourself) self-publishing day at Gorman House. The organiser, who attended "I Am Typewriter" and was deeply impressed by it, explained, "Typewriters are a huge part of zine making - and your involvement would be greatly appreciated!"
I am excited about the prospect of taking part. Canberra hasn't hosted a typewriter-related event such as this since the 2006 Literary Festival at the National Museum. Eight years is too long!:
(I exclude from this my own Typewriter Exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery last year, which wasn't a participant event.)
The 2014 Canberra event is expected to follow by a fortnight the second annual Australian Type-In, to be held in Brisbane around March 9. Preliminary planning for this is already underway and it is hoped that for next year's Type-In, we will be joined by Typospherian Natalie Tan ("natslaptaps") from Darwin. Other Australian Typospherians who attended the inaugural event at the Breakfast Creek Pub last March 10 were Scott Kernaghan ("The Filthy Platen"), John Lavery ("McTaggarts Typewriter Workshop"), Steve Snow ("The Impatient Typewriter Mechanic") and Rino Breebaart ("The long slow {typecast} blog").
I have an idea Jasper Lindell ("DIAHTENSOR") might be overseas at that time, but I wonder if any other Australian typewriter enthusiasts will be able to make it? You won't ever regret making the effort to be there!

8 comments:

Machopolitan said...

envy you guys, living in the developed world, seem to have an unlimited supply of used typewriters. I'm thinking about scheduling a visit to Australia or US when a similar type-in activities are held. Please do post your event list in advance. Thank you.

writelephant.com said...

I'll make the effort. Sounds like a great long weekend idea. And I have yet to visit Brisbane (or Canberra for that matter).

Jasper Lindell said...

The one time that I'm going to be out the country, this sort of thing gets organised! Typical.

Sounds like it'll be lots of fun and although I would love to be there, I might just have to send a typewritten fax to be involved by correspondence.

(I do think Canberra would be suited to lots of typewriter events, and I hope this is just the first. Perhaps the next ones can be planned for when I'm here?)

Richard P said...

What great news about the CanberraZine Emporium!

I'm looking forward to those booklets, thank you.

Machopolitan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Machopolitan said...

Hi Mr. Messenger,

I just posted my first typecasting.

the website is:

http://machopolitan.blogspot.com/

May I ask for a favour? could you please visit my blog and take a look at it, so that I can tell whether it really works. As I said before, blogspot.com is totally blocked in China, therefore, I'm using a special software called VPN to bypass restrictions. It doesn't always work.

Meanwhile, if it is possible please help me introduce it to other typewriter fans.

Hope that I didn't ask too much. :-p

Best Regards
Gerard

Mark said...

That sounds like so much fun!

Nat said...

I've got my crossed fingers flying around the internets for good tickets! I really REALLY want to get there this time!