Museum of Curiosities II – featuring work by Digswell Alumni, Mark L’Argent

Written by Jo Howe

On May 27, 2014
Sorry#1 detail Mark L'Argent

New work  by Digswell Alumni Mark L’Argent in Museum of Curiosites II at Gatehouse Arts.

Mark writes…

‘The modern age never really gave up the typewriter. This remarkably adaptable machine is still with us after 150 years, albeit in a very different disguise, simply superseded by developing technologies: The chassis changed from cast iron to steel, and the cover from steel to plastic making it lightweight and portable.

As electronic technology evolved, touch typing replaced the bashing of keys as the typewriter evolved into the state of the art word processor, until finally, digital technology put the typewriter, or more correctly, its keyboard, into billions of homes across the world.

My works are a metaphor for the typewriter being the tool of the writer, author, poet, and address the point that it is an evolving adaptable tool that has had a variety of incarnations and is still with us today. The typewriter is rarely the primary tool of the writer, nor the final embodiment of the written word.

The typewriter/word processor/computer is an intermediate tool, for the transcription and clarification of a handwritten manuscript. The typewritten manuscript is then used by the typesetter to create a print version.

The ‘typing machine’ is secondary always to hand-lettering and typography, despite being an unsung literary giant, its utilitarianism always consigning it to a lesser role… By comparison both handwritten and printed manuscripts are seen as objects of beauty and typed script the neglected, slightly ugly cousin, so I have placed it centre stage in my compositions, where script and text are the accompanying secondary players.’

Sorry#1 detail Mark L'Argent

Sorry#1 detail Mark L’Argent

Find out more about Mark at


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