Creating images with a photocopier is my latest craze.
It started with watching Frieze video about Fraser Muggeridge, where he is discussing appreciation of analogue means of production and the unrefined appeal of an image created with a photocopy machine. Muggeridge uses photocopier creatively to enlarge and distort the image, then scanning it back into the computer to be re-worked further. This idea comes as a revelation to me, as for a very long time I have been fixated on learning my way around design software in order to be able to create the “professional” look that I have always admired so much. The thought of using something as mundane as a photocopier to create a design which is just as credible as one created using digital tools has been liberating for me to say the least.
I also came across the People of Print website, a good resource related to all things printmaking, where I learnt about amazing machines like risographs, which print layers of artwork in different colours.
Inspired by riso, but without having the access to the actual machine, I decided to hack my humble photocopier at work. I split my photo into various layers on computer and then used a photocopier (set on a single-colour print setting) to print the layers in different colours onto one piece of paper.
Here is what the result looks like. This is a photo of my cozy work table at home.
The fun part started when I tested the zoom settings and enlarged my images to 400%. These lovely abstract prints came out.
I wrote about the idea of randomness in idea generation before, and this printing process fits the bill perfectly. I felt a lot of excitement and surprise every time I worked with a different zoom setting, as I had no idea how the image would come out.
I admit that I developed a secret obsession with a photocopy machine and I look forward to my daily photocopy fix. Indeed even the most humble things have a tons of creative potential.