Post is a video work that captures the repeated cyclical typing of four paragraphs, each derived from the final pages of the book A History of the Modern World. Comprising fragmented video of a typist accompanied by a soundtrack whose building blocks are recordings of typewriter keys being hit, Post contrasts long passages of stasis and anticipation with rapid cuts. Each keystroke forces a change of camera angle as only human errors in each of the transcribed paragraphs permit a view of what is being typed. The work is structured not around the narrative as contained in the text, but rather around the process of applying ink to paper via the pressing of keys.
Post creates a dissonance between the way we expect information formatting to be represented, and the way information formatting is produced. This dissonance invites a questioning of the way history is an actively produced narrative. While developing the work Shovlin was interested in how anonymous editorial contributes to a reader’s focus of a text – each text was chosen as it had been underlined or highlighted by a previous reader of the book. Post questions the material legacies of history making and their future in an increasingly dematerialised world, deconstructing the origin and methodology of the narratives that give shape to our experiences and histories.