I am not Imagining. 2022. Sebastiane Hegarty
I am humbled to have had a new work on paper, short-listed for Best Imagined Sound in The Sound of the Year Awards. The other three nominees were poets Jonty Pennington Twist, Philip Burton and Alastair Hesp, who was announced as the winner in May.
The shortlisted sound is one of a series of new works, which use words and the percussive palpitation of a typewriter to imagine sound [and silence] on paper. The typewriter used is a recently acquired and rather beautiful, cream/green 1959 Imperial No 5 “Good Companion”. The typewriter arrived, fitted with a brand-new ribbon; my words the first to be written in its uncoiling, ink-soaked line of thought.
In his book Gramophone, Film and Typewriter, Friedrich A. Kittler considers the typewriter “an innocuous device, an ‘intermediate’ thing, between a tool and a machine,” which ‘cannot conjure up anything imaginary’. But as a medium the typewriter corresponds with the silence of thought and noise of form, and in correspondence it dwells ‘at the cusp where thinking is on the point of settling into’ shape and form on paper.(Tim Ingold)
The noise of these words. 2022.
In this new series of sounds on paper, the action and restrictions of the typewriter become an inherent component of the work. The weight, vertical orientation and standardised A4 paper size, are regulated by the dimensions and habits of the machine, whilst the type is set in face and point: this Imperial No.5 types, in a rare Book Type Face, approximately 10 letters to the inch.
The typewriter’s mechanical carriage of language is noisy and visceral, words strike out rhythms of sound, whilst the gesture and movement of my digits are choreographed and back spaced in correspondence with the words being formed and the systemised array of the Qwerty keyboard.
In this physical correspondence with language, sounds are both audible and imagined, appearing then in the moment of being written and imagined now in the moment of being seen.
A pin drop. 2022