[each 44 pages, digest, $? from Gianni Simone, 3-3-23 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama-shi, 226-0027 Kanagawa-ken, JAPAN +++ jb64jp (at) yahoo.co.jp +++ gloomy-sundays.blogspot.com +++ orga-ni-sm.blogspot.com
Kairan is Gianni's zine devoted to the art of photocopiers, or xerox machines, or whatever you wanna call 'em. Most people, when they have access to a photocopier in their workplace, will probably just use it to make copies, you know, copy of invoice, send it to Accounts, ho hum, or just stand there pressing buttons, look of grim concentration, pretending to be doing something. Then there are people like Gianni and his friends who really put these machines to creative use. In Kairan #14 Gianni goes into some depth describing various techniques and effects that can be achieved, for example Copy Motion, where you move the paper being copied while the scanning bar is moving across it. This achieves blurring and even a sense of movement in the image. Another example is Degeneration, where a copy is made, then a copy of that copy, then a copy of that copy, sometimes dozens or hundreds of times. Gianni mentions that this is more effective on older analogue copiers; these days the digital copiers are too efficient and don't produce the same quality of image degradation.
In Kairan #15 we learn that the photocopier was invented by Chester Carlson in 1938. Klaus Urbons contributes an article about the time he attempted to replicate Carlson's orginal xerography experiment. He stunk the kitchen up so bad with burning sulphur that his wife banished him to the basement. Fascinating was John Held Jr's piece covering the postal service (I never knew that in the early part of the 20th century large cities had several mail deliveries per day!) and mail art and photocopy technology. He makes the observation that in large offices the photocopier is situated somewhere in the middle so staff who photocopy too much, for their own benefit and at the expense of the firm, would be kept in sight and shamed or deterred. That was pretty amusing. (I've had my own run-ins with personal photocopying at work - it always felt like it was a big covert operation, felt my heart rate rise, cold sweat, shit! somebody just walked past! aw fuck! paper jam!! etc.) Many pages of photocopy art by more than thirty artists are also included.
Kairan is definitely recommended for those who want to dig a little deeper into the history and mechanics of this zine-making business we love so much.
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