In the mid-20th century, many women were employed as secretaries in ‘typing pools.’ Typing pools were large, open rooms located within offices, where rows of mainly young women used typewriters to transcribe dictated or handwritten letters and notes for professional (i.e., male) employees of a company.
‘Typing Pool’ is the name I have given to an interactive art project in which I thread a long loop of paper through multiple typewriters and invite people to type with me. For this version of the project, I have cut fragments of text out of copies of National Geographic magazine from the 1970s and 1980s. The aim is to transcribe this text onto the paper loop. Multiple people can type at once, and you can transcribe as many pieces of the text as you like. The loop will gradually fill with randomly juxtaposed text to create a found poem. Typing Pool uses obsolete materials from the mid-20th century to explore their hidden uses and potentials, and reimagines the typing pool as a space of experimentation and play.