Typewriter sculptures in figurative forms by Jeremy Mayer seem to be complementary to the kinetic art and metamechanics of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely ( 1925-1991 ). Tinguely was part of the ”Nouveau Realisme” which aimed at a reassessment of artistic form and material. Like Tinguely, Mayers sculptures seem caricatures of the utilitarian mechanical world and they embody a certain critical posture towards technology.
Mayer’s sculptures are almost a form of anti-art, beautiful monstrosities that capture and reflect a post-modern dependency on technology and a ”cult” of the machine. ‘‘ The variety of forms used by the Nouveau Realistes enabled them to take a different approach to the relationship between art and reality. The industrial and household objects, and especially the waste proclaimed as art, are designed to deflate the lofty and high-flown concept of art and to de-heroize the artist by de-subjectifying form and depersonalizing expression. The works of art themselves show opposite characteristics: de-materialization versus accentuation of materiality.”
The first typewriter in America was the Sholes Glidden in 1874, a functional but somewhat decorative machine with painted flowers and decals. Sholes was a newspaperman, part-time inventor and poet. He did not foresee that type writing would ever be faster than handwriting which is usually around twenty words per minute.
Mayer’s sculptures can be seen as a repository of karmic resonances emanating from machines that passed an entire career span turning out ”Past Due” statements, acceptance letters, etc. Typewriters are also regarded as pop culture symbols for journalism and the art of writing.