Artist sets out to collect the thoughts of St. Louis

September 27, 2013 by  

Henry Goldkamp, an artist, is the mastermind behind a new project in the city to find out what is on the minds of St. Louis residents.

As part of the ‘What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?’ project, Goldkamp is putting typewriters in locations throughout the city and inviting people to type up their thoughts. He is hoping residents will share jokes, stories, ideas, and even sad experiences.

Goldkamp started this project in the wake of his experience with another project he called ‘Fresh Poetry’. In that endeavor, he sat at various places in the city and asked passersby to suggest topics for him to write about. In a short time, usually less than a quarter of an hour, he wrote poems or stories based on the suggestions. However, he felt writing this way did not do the subjects justice, so he is inviting people to express themselves directly.

Since Goldkamp wants to know the answer to the question in the title of piece, he has put 30 manual typewriters in organizations and businesses all over the city. Seeking diversity, they can be found in libraries, cemeteries, record stores, museums, and clothing stores. The machines will be set on podiums, where anyone can come up and type whatever they are thinking about. After finishing, they can drop their writing into a slot that will be cut into the podium.

City officials could perhaps work with brochure printers to compile a list of locations in which the typewriters are located, so people can find them easily.