by Thomas Eisner
The color copier, I learned recently, can serve for more than its designated purpose.
Marketed for office use, for the convenient duplication of printed documents,
color copiers are now in widespread employ, in replacement of the conventional
duplicating machines that do their job in black-and-white. Color copiers can indeed
copy paper work with astounding fidelity. Hence their popularity. But they can
do more than that. They can serve for the inventive generation of imagery, for
composition of novel pictorial arrangements, and in that capacity find use in
the expression of fantasy. Color copiers can accommodate more than just paper
documents on the glass plate that serves as their stage. They can “see” three-dimensional
objects as well, objects of up to a very considerable thickness, which they depict
in their printouts with extraordinary sharpness. The glass stage of the copier
can thus serve as a "canvas" upon which the components of visual designs
are assembled. What one designs, and out of what materials, is up to the imagination.
Luck would have it that I have recently come into possession of a color copier,
with which I have had no end of fun. Shown here are pictures of two kinds that
I have taken with the instrument, one kind generated by assembly of plants or
plant parts, the other by playful arrangement of molluskan shell fragments that
I gathered by the sea. No feat of ingenuity went into the generation of these pictures.
I simply imagined how the component parts of a given arrangement might fit together,
and laid out the parts as envisioned. It was like playing with a Lego
set. There were only two provisos. Parts had to be laid out upside down on the
copier’s stage, because the copier “sees” the stage from beneath, and the arrangements,
once composed, had to be covered with a black velvet cloth to exclude ambient
light from the picture. Even children can learn quickly to compose pictures with
the copier. Playing with the instrument could well prove inaugural for those of
artistic or scientific leanings.
Contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org