Chromatic Typewriter

Feeding my on-going love affair with typewriters (read more blog posts here) is the ‘Chromatic Typewriter’. Washington-based painter Tyree Callahan modified a 1937 Underwood Standard typewriter, replacing the letters and keys with colour pads and hued labels to create what he calls a ‘functional “painting” device’. I’ve been trying to work out what the keys are made from…pastels? Chalks? Crayons? Something that has a powder-like quality that will leave an impression after the finger key pressing-typewriter arm levering-page hitting process. Do the keys need to be moistened before use? So many questions! This typewriter along with the electronic music box typewriter called ‘D.O.R.T.H.E‘ that I’ve previously blogged about, have a sort of synergy, or a potential for synergistic effect. From this marriage of sound, colour and type(writer)…what could it produce?

“The little ‘Chromatic Typewriter’, a conceptual art piece, is out in the world and the feedback has been great.  Although it does not paint, I’ve decided I can at least re-type my artist statement with the thing, so long as I can limit it to a paragraph.  It ought to be equally decipherable as any other artist statement I’ve read lately.” – Tyree Callahan

Tyree Callahan Chromatic Typewriter 2

Tyree Callahan Chromatic Typewriter 3

Tyree Callahan Chromatic Typewriter 4


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