The Type Bar engages participants to create hand-typed letters to be mailed anywhere. The art service pairs volunteer typists with guests to listen and type letters for them. Deep storytelling often happens. Type Bar uses vintage manual typewriters, stationery, and postage.
The art of slow communication.
How does the Type Bar work?
A Type Bar ‘Speaker’ participant dictates a letter to a ‘Typist’ participant. Type Bar outside of normal experience because of the vintage tools used. A Speaker reflects as s/he composes a letter out loud. A Typist explores listening and the creative process by crafting and typing the letter. With no delete or cut-and-paste, the Speaker and Typist are faced with the permanence of their creation. Letters become unique art objects with clippings, quotes, and vintage postage. Type bar messages transcend time. Letters are mailed or hand-delivered to their recipients by the service.
The purpose of the Type Bar is to stop time and allow a participant to write a message that might not otherwise be communicated.
Type Bar Service
The Type Bar provides manual typewriters, vintage postage & stationery, letter enclosures, & extras
Participants volunteer as Speaker or Typist for the duration of at least one letter to a real recipient
Prompts, stage setting, or themes may be offered depending on the environment or venue
The Typist and Speaker craft the best message and format for the letter according to the story
Some Typists choose to read letters back to their Speakers before sealing and mailing
The Speaker then chooses a selection of vintage postage stamps from the Type Bar collection
Additional mail art, poetry, prints, or clippings make each message unique
The Type Bar collects and mails or hand delivers the letters.
The Type Bar began in 2005 to explore slow communication and community storytelling. Arthur Grau (a.k.a. Circa) named and created the original “Universal Babel Service”. The Service, now named “Type Bar”, has has typed letters for all people and purposes. Type Bar letters have been used in: interactive art installations, mindfulness workshops, marketing campaigns, political rallies, fundraising appeals, literacy projects, elder engagement, and private parties. Type Bar enlivens the art of slow communication.