Mirroring the past, from typewriting to interactive art: an approach to the re-design of a vintage technology

Lepri, Giacomo and McPherson, Andrew P.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Obsolete and old technologies are often used in interactive art and music performance. DIY practices such as hardware hacking and circuit bending provide effective methods to the integration of old machines into new artistic inventions. This paper presents the Cembalo Scrivano .1, an interactive audio-visual installation based on an augmented typewriter. Borrowing concepts from media archaeology studies, tangible interaction design and digital lutherie, we discuss how investigations into the historical and cultural evolution of a technology can suggest directions for the regeneration of obsolete objects. The design approach outlined focuses on the remediation of an old device and aims to evoke cultural and physical properties associated to the source object.