Burning Man: Blunderwood Portable

Blunderwood Portable

I helped to design elements of the Blunderwood Portable by 2015 Burning Man honoraria grant recipient, Jason Turgeon, as part of his crew the Cat and the Cockroach Collective. In 2015, I had just finished my second year of college studying interior architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Having just learned to use Autodesk’s AutoCAD and the 3D Modeling software Rhinoceros, I leapt at the opportunity to assist with CAD work planning the cuts for the return carriage, platen, and space bar sections of this giant 24:1 scale typewriter. It was modeled after an Underwood typewriter, which we passed around to take detailed measurements of and scale up to cut at 24:1 scale. The sculpture had pressure-sensitive keys that enabled an individual to jump from key to key to type massive poetry, projected onto a screen that served as the “paper” inserted into the typewriter. This concept was based on the Don Marquis newspaper column in the 1920s, “Archy and Mehitabel”, written as if a cockroach (Archy) were jumping from key to key to write the column. With the Blunderwood Portable, we were able to shrink everyone down to the size of a cockroach.