Call Out: “Words are all we have”

“Words are all we have”: An artist’s book and book arts project currently in the process of being created specifically for the one-day symposium ‘Type Writing’ at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design on 16th March 2011. The works will then go onto to be included as part of a group exhibition in the UK.


CALL OUT: Using the work of writer, playwright and poet Samuel Beckett as a starting point:

“Words are all we have…Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.” Samuel Beckett

I am examining the stories behind typewriters and the typographic spelling mistakes and errors created on the paper page that become the unnecessary stains and imperfections on our writings, thoughts and words. Almost a history of errors as such.

I am asking you all to send me your histories, stories, words, phrases, sentences and small-scale images describing and/or depicting your relationship with and to typewriters, typewriter text and typographic errors. The typewriters that have perhaps come and gone, or are part of your daily life. Who were they owned by? Did you parents have one? How did you come across it? What do you use it for? What history do you think it could tell with its keys? Where does it live? What has it said? Why do you use it?  You are also welcome to send me pre-existing excerpts of typewriter text to scan in and use as images.



If you wish to submit by post please contact me as soon as possible and I will send you the mailing address. Work submitted can either be in a text or image format. If you wish to be fully credited please tell me, as otherwise I will only state first names and location in order to keep contributors identities partially anonymous.


DEADLINE: Monday 21st February 2011, 5pm

The stories will then be typed up using my fathers Adler Gabriele 25 typewriter on folded book pages designed and set alongside select submitted imagery, bound into a limited edition series of concertina open-spine sewn-bound books. The books will also be scanned so online PDF versions can be accessed in the future.


Please spread the word about this project and help with its development and creation. I look forward to hearing how this history of errors unfold.

Rachel Marsden, 'Untitled (1966)', 2005. Image copyright the artist.


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