Artwork #2: ABCDEFGHIKeyboard

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Artwork #2: Appropriate

A keyboard that is remapped so that the keys are laid out as abcdefg like in the picture below (both keycaps and the actual inputs).
Some typing test website ( for example).

Perform a 60-second typing test with the keyboard.
You may restart as many times as you would like.
Try and get the fastest speed you can with this new layout.

Artist’s Statement:
The game is meant to critique how as a society we sometimes implement things without considering why they were done that way just because “it’s always been that way.” We currently don’t know who or why the qwerty layout was invented. A common theory is that it was to slow down typists so that a typewriter wouldn’t get jammed, but there is no supporting evidence for that theory. There are other layouts that have been invented since, such as Colemak or Dvorak, that are more efficient ways of typing on a keyboard. Unfortunately, we don’t pick up these layouts simply because its not worth relearning how to type, and most of us already are accustomed to the qwerty layout.

This game is meant to poke fun at that by asking you to type in a comical layout: the order of the alphabet. It was heavily inspired by Yoko Ono’s White Chess, which is where the idea of taking a game and making it more challenging by messing with the components to drive the message across came from. I think the game ended up being actually very fun to play. It provided a lot of friction but felt very possible and that the next time you attempted the challenge you would do better than the last. The game itself felt fair, even though it was very difficult to get a good time, which ended up making it quite popular among other students. I was also inspired by a video I watched called “How I went from 10 to 130 WPM in 3 months” from YouTuber pinguefy in which he talks about swapping to a different keyboard layout. The initial struggle he showed of learning it and having to retrain the muscle movement in his hands played inspired the keyboard aspect of this piece