How an Office Tool Changed the Art Game

The Case for Photocopy Art

Lesley Schiff, “Flower in Hand” from the “Seasons” series, color photocopy, 1980–81.

“The root word for technology comes from the Greek “techne”…which meant art. They had one word for art and manufacture. Xerography also comes from the Greek for “dry writing”. To me it’s corporate poetry…when you see something the mind xerox’s it. It doesn’t pick up a paintbrush. The machine puts into perspective a relation, it promoted my own creative activity — it’s direct, immediate and accessible.”

Lesley Schiff, from the “Seasons” series, 1980–81.
A photocopied description of Ian Burn’s Xerox Book, 1968.


LEFT: Antoine Claudet studio, Portrait of the Duke of Wellington (daguerreotype), May 1, 1844 // RIGHT: Henry Thomas Ryall, Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, engraving from Claudet’s daguerreotype, 1852.
Ernest Clair-Guyot, “La garde-barrière,montage of two photographs on cardboard, white gouache and black ink; “L’Illustration,” 25 July, 1891.
Molly Springfield, “The Real Object, graphite on paper, 2006.
Ian Burn, “Xerox Book #1,” 1968.


London in 1842, Taken from the Summit of the Duke of York’s Column, wood engraving, 1843.
“This document” installation at Galerie Thomas Zande, 2014. The piece is a twenty-panel drawing traveling the length of an underlined sentence.
Sonia Sheridan, “Software Show,” Jewish Museum of New York, 1970.
Lesley Schiff, “Seasons” series, 1980–81.
LEFT: Molly Springfield, “Jane Austen,” digital print (photocopy of e-reader), edition of 3, 2014. RIGHT: an 1873 engraving for Evert A. Duyckink’s “Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America.”

Art, Humor, Online Dating, and the Humorous Art of Online Dating.

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