Fold 5-12

Photography; Inkjet Print, 2007

From the series 'Folds and Études'

Folds and Études are images derived from anonymous typing exercises that I found in a used copy of “Touch Typing Made Simple”. The title, Études, refers to the musical tradition of studies for a solo instrument. In this case, the solo instrument is a typewriter. This musical analogy appears in the opening sentences of the book on typing technique:

The physical action of typing is one that can be easily learned. If you play the piano or any musical instrument on which you depress keys or strings individually, you already know a basic technique of touch typing. If not, it helps to exercise the fingers of both hands by pretending to play a piano.

Typing exercises are repetitive attempts to type words and phrases rapidly and without error. Typing proficiency is calculated by speed and accuracy. It is a measure of our embodied interaction with writing machines. The medley of words on each page of the Études however, reveal slips and mistakes, commonly referred to as “typos”, that have an intriguing and somewhat absurd effect on the language and signification that fills each page. The contrast between proficiency and nonsense has a historical relation to parapraxis, slips of the tongue, and information theory where the intention to restrict error and miscalculation in signals and transmissions is accompanied by noise, or the existence of superfluous information.

The relationship between information as interference, noise, and sound is revealed during attempts to read the Études aloud. The mistakes of the keyboard encourage further slippage in the voice. The pages of Études are accompanied by a polyphonic audio recording of the spoken texts.

Folds are studies of the Études. The crumpled balls of paper playfully mimic the stereotype of the frustrated author. These objects fold the nonsensical texts of the typing exercises in temporal and spatial representations of non-linear complexity. Words and phrases intercept and interact through connections and boundaries in unpredictable ways. The outcome is more noise.

The shape of the creased paper evokes the touch of human hands. The sense of touch used to type letters onto the page is recalled in the arbitrary shapes and lines throughout the surfaces of the paper. The Folds are topological explorations of typographic error organized according to typological tables of presentation.

Fold 5-12

Photography; Inkjet Print, 2007

     
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Robert Bean

b. 1954, Canada

Short Bio

Robert Bean is an artist, writer and teacher living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in Saskatchewan, he moved to Nova Scotia in 1976 to pursue a career in contemporary art and education. He obtained a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) in 1978, and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds, England in 1999. He is currently a Professor at NSCAD University. Bean has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and New Zealand.

Website

Education

  • MA in Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, UK 1999
  • BFA, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 1978
  • BA, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 1976

Selected Public Collections

  • Nova Scotia Art Bank 2006
  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia 2005
  • The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa 2004
  • The Canada Council Art Bank 2000
  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia 2000

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • Metamorphosis, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Ontario. Curated by Scott McLeod. January 2007
  • verbatim, Akau Inc., Toronto, Ontario. Curated by Cheryl Sourkes. January 2006
  • LAPSUS, Dalhousie University Art Gallery. Halifax, Nova Scotia. January 2005
  • FORGET GIVING, VU. Centre de Diffusion et de Production de la Photographie. Quebec, Quebec. May 2002
  • POLITICAL PHOTOGRAPHS, The Anna Leonowens Gallery, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Halifax, NS, October 2001
  • SCREE, I-Land Gallery, Toronto. January 2001 & Gallery YHZ, Halifax, Nova Scotia. October 2001

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • .txt, The Anna Leonowens Gallery. NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Robert Bean, David Clark, Michelle Gay, Michael Maranda, Jillian Mcdonald, Luke Murphy, Marcin Ramocki, Ilan Sandler. May 27 – June 7, 2008.
  • Excision Twenty+3 Gallery, Manchester, UK. Works by Robert Bean, Michelle Bellemare and Michael Maranda. Curated by Cheryl Sourkes. February 2008
  • New Acquisitions in the Nova Scotia Art Bank Unveiled, The Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, N.S. April 2006
  • CFAT Media Train,VertexList Gallery. Brooklyn, New York. November 2005
  • DISQUIET, Modern Fuel Gallery, Kingston, Ontario. Curator: Christof Migone. Works by Robert Bean, Dave Dyment, Afshin Matlabi, Diane Morin, Matt Rogalsky, USSA (Steve Bates & Jake Moore). August 24 – September 24, 2005
  • Nice to Meet You, Hyundai Art Gallery, Ulsan, Korea. May, 2004
  • Before the Land, Behind the Camera, The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Ontario
  • MESSAGE: Sent and Received, Saw Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario. January 1991
  • Fact or Fiction: Some Points of View in Contemporary Nova Scotian Photography, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax. March 1990

Selected Publications

  • “Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests and Honorary Degree”. Exhibition essay and catalogue. The Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia. October 2008
  • “Waiting for the Past”. Catalogue essay for the exhibition “Apertura” by Cora Cluett and Scott Conarroe. The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Ontario. July 2008
  • “Verbatim”, “Folds/Etudes”, “Artifacts of Research”. The Canadian Review of Art Education. Volume 34, 2007. Pp. 58-87
  • “h I def’InI( )n” [High Definition]. Feature article. Blackflash, Vol. 25.1, October 2007
  • “In the Flesh”. Exhibition essay and catalogue, The Center for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia. October 2007

Selected Awards

  • Arts Award - Travel Grant. The Canada Council for the Arts. Visual Arts. February 2008
  • Nova Scotia Arts Council Grant. March 2007
  • SSHRC Research/Creation Grant (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). March 2007

Robert Bean

Full Resume

Download (PDF)

Selected Bibliography and Reviews

  • Leah Sandals, “Playing Against Typewriters”. The National Post, February 1, 2007
  • Peter Goddard, “Voice of the Lost and Discarded”. The Toronto Star, February 1, 2007
  • Gary Michael Dault, “Robert Bean at Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art”. The Globe and Mail, February 10, 2007
  • Leah Sandals, “Image and Inscription: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography, Edited by Robert Bean”. Border Crossings, Vol. 25, No. 3. Issue No. 99, Arts Manitoba Publications Inc., August 2006. p. 130
  • Gerald McMaster, “Image and Inscription: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography, Edited by Robert Bean”. Prefix Photo, Number 13. Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Ontario. May 2006. p. 87
  • Gary Michael Dault, “Ribbons of ink-stained memory”. The Globe and Mail, January 7, 2006
  • “LAPSUS”. ,Exhibition Catalogue. Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Catalogue Essay by Susan Gibson-Garvey. January, 2005
  • PRIMER: The New Document. Canadian Art Magazine. Volume 17, No. 2. Summer 2000
  • Robin Metcalfe. “Robert Bean - Table Land”. Arts Atlantic #57. Winter 1997
  • Peter Dykhuis. "Robert Bean - Table Land". Parachute #85. January 1997
  • EVA. electronic visual arts journal. Vol. 1 Number 3. Fall 1995

Recent Presentations and Conferences

  • Symposium. “Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention”. NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Symposium organized by Robert Bean and Ilan Sandler in conjunction with a Research/Creation project sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. May 2008
  • Lecture: “Technology, Art, Obsolescence and Language”, University of Salford, Manchester, UK. February 2008
  • CBC Radio Interview: CBC Sunday Edition - Michael Enright. “Film vs. Digital”, Robert Bean and Joan Schwartz. Broadcast date: May 13, 2007
  • “Landscape, Photography and Documentary Fictions”. Panel Discussion on the work of Isabelle Hayeur, Edward Burtynsky and Carl Zimmerman. Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery November 2006

Fold 5-10 Fold 5-12 Fold 6-4 Fold 7-4 Parts 8-2 Parts 10 Ribbon 2 Typefan 1 Typefan 2 Crandall Blickensderfer Franklin Stenographer Malling-Hansen Enigma Hand Clamp Finger Apparatus Clocks: The Scent of Time Comics-MAD Vestibule to TV The Place of Thomas Nash in the Learning of His Time Roads and Paper Routes The Spoken Word Typewriter: Into the Age of the Iron Whim Equation 1 Equation 1a Equation 4 Equation 4a Equation 5a Equation 6d Equation 7a

Robert Bean
Fold 5-12, 2007
More images by Robert Bean List View

Fold 5-10

Fold 5-12

Fold 6-4

Fold 7-4

Parts 8-2

Parts 10

Ribbon 2

Typefan 1

Typefan 2

Crandall

Blickensderfer

Franklin

Stenographer

Malling-Hansen

Enigma

Hand Clamp

Finger Apparatus

Clocks: The Scent of Time

Comics-MAD Vestibule to TV

The Place of Thomas Nash in the Learning of H...

Roads and Paper Routes

The Spoken Word

Typewriter: Into the Age of the Iron Whim

Equation 1

Equation 1a

Equation 4

Equation 4a

Equation 5a

Equation 6d

Equation 7a

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