Photocopiers aren't just boring corporate tools fit for workplace sabotage with a paperclip. No, the humble photostatic copier and printer was a publishing revolution almost as important as the development of moveable type. And more important than Movable Type, for that matter.

Back when I was at art college I toyed with photocopies as a image creation devices. My particular favourite was a cranky, creaky old thermal fax machine that someone gave me in lieu of payment for work.

Photocopiers are amazing things, even poorly maintained old ones. Perhaps especially poorly maintained old ones. The nature of the photocopying process means that the results are often spoiled - or rather, improved - by high contrast and visual artefacts. That, coupled with the fact that you can use them to make art instantly worthless, makes them an essential technology for the artist.

So superb are they that Adam and the Ants even wrote a song about them. Before the high camp of Prince Charming.
Imagine my joy, then, to have run across the following at the Nonist*:


PhotoStatic was a magazine, a periodical series of printed works that focused on xerography as the source of a particular visual language that was widely used by graphic artists in the various art and music underground scenes of the 80s and 90s. During this time, the publication served as a forum to collect and redistribute artworks that originated in these scenes. Eventually, its scope extended to embrace not only graphic works, but also concrete poetry, correspondence art, ephemera from works in other media, essays, fiction, reviews, and reports on various cultural scenes, including Neoism, the home taping community, the zine community, and mail art.


At the following URL, one can find an archive of the magazine scanned to PDF format (oh, the irony) http://psrf.detritus.net/index.html.

I'll not bother with the anecdote about the time I tried to photocopy my face... Have fun and if anyone has a space roneograph lying about, get in touch.

Thanks to ST at Dogmatika.