Ignacio Uriarte began his career in business administration before quitting “to work as a full time artist,” as he describes in his statement. Translating his administrative expertise to a creative context, Uriarte incorporates the quotidian tools and habitual methods surrounding the office environment into his artistic practice. His materials include Bic pens, Xerox machines, ink cartridges, and other office paraphernalia; his process is driven by routine and repetition. His new video work, which was displayed in Nogueras Blanchard‘s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach earlier this month, comments on the iconic machine, the typewriter, and its decline into obsolescence.
The History of the Typewriter Recited by Michael Winslow documents the actor’s recreation of the distinct mechanical sounds generated when using a typewriter. Michael Winslow is known for his role in the Police Academy movies, as well as his uncanny ability to simulate sound effects using his voice. In the video, Winslow attempts to mimic the sounds of various typing machines from the 1870s to the 1980s. Uriarte recorded the sounds of over 3,000 typewriters from the Schreibmaschinenmuseum in Partschins, Switzerland and the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin. The artist then chose 68 models for Winslow to work with. The actor was only able to recreate the sounds of 32 models in the film, a powerful reflection on the interaction between man and machine, and the limitations of both. The specific timeframe of the work points to the invention of the typewriter and its ultimate demise with the launch of the first personal computer and accompanying word processing software by IBM in 1984. The first Police Academy movie was also released in 1984.
Uriarte received a degree in Business Administration in 1995 before studying audiovisual arts in Guadalajara, Mexico. Born in Krefeld, Germany, he currently lives and works in Berlin.