Hand-Typed Polka Dot Shirt

2015 / sculpture / cotton shirt, typewriter ink / photos: Tom Little

A cotton shirt originally made by an anonymous worker was disassembled at the seams into its twenty-one component parts and each piece run through a typewriter. The period key was pressed over 20,000 times to create a polka-dot pattern hand-typed directly onto the fabric. Once printed the pieces were hand-sewn back together. At first glance the pattern may appear industrially printed, though on closer inspection mistakes can be glimpsed; an accidental “m” or misaligned row. Hand-typed Polka-Dot Shirt explores the relationship between the hand-made and machine-made by misusing a machine designed to accomplish one kind of task, to achieve another that it is quite unsuited for.