STEREOTYPE (2019): An Interactive Installation

Installation, typewriter, paper, and tape

STEREOTYPE is an interactive, pop-up art installation. Within an immersive environment, participants are invited to respond to the word “stereotype” on a continuous sheet of teletype paper fed through a 1973 Adler Meteor typewriter.

This piece was inspired by the origin of the word “stereotype” (from the Greek stereos “solid” and French type “type”). Originally a term used in letterpress printing, a “stereotype” referred to a metal plate from which identical copies could be produced. In 1798, this invention allowed printers to quickly and easily produce large numbers of the same image repeatedly.

By the mid-1800s, “stereotype” was defined as an “image perpetuated without change.” However, by 1922 the word acquired new meaning, expanding to “preconceived and oversimplified notions of characteristics typical of a person or group.”

Today, we still find ourselves confronted by preconceived beliefs based on superficial impressions of our race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and gender. This piece asks you to confront those notions head-on. Here, you are invited to type a response to stereotypes you have encountered on the paper provided.

What specific stereotypes do you contend with on a day to day basis? How do you compare to those notions? What memories, emotions, ideas, or stories come to mind? Feel free to write as much or as little as you want, in any style that feels natural to you.

By contributing to this work, your thoughts will become part of a new piece of art that embraces multiple identities, voices, and truths within a long and unbroken continuum.