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Xerox art

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Title: Xerox art  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Artists' books, Simplicity (photography), Slow photography, K-14 process, Redscale
Collection: Art Genres, Artists' Books, Fluxus, Xerox Art
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Xerox art

Xerox art (sometimes, more generically, called electrostatic art or copy art) is created by putting objects on the glass, or image area, of a copying machine and by pressing "start" to making an image. If the object is not flat, or the cover does not totally cover the object, the image is distorted in some way. The curvature of the object, the amount of light that reaches the image surface, the distance of the cover from the glass all affect the final image. Often, with proper manipulation, rather ghostly images can be made. Xerox art appeared shortly after the first Xerox copying machines were made. There are exhibits now in Los Angeles and New York City museums of more controlled examples of the form. It is akin to photography. Color copiers added to the form, as can be seen by surrealist Jan Hathaway's combining color xerography with other media, Carol Heifetz Neiman's layering prismacolor pencil through successive runs of a color photocopy process (1988-1990), or R.L. Gibson's use of large scale xerography such as in Psychomachia (2010).

The San Francisco Bay Area had an active Color Xerox arts scene starting in 1978 many local artists worked in the medium. From post card stores to gallery exhibits, to Barbara Cushman's Color Xerox Calendar this was a busy time for copy art.

Xerox art is often used in mail art.


  • Xerox is Dead

Further reading

  • Creative Photocopying (1997), Walton, S. and Walton, S. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-85410-476-4.
  • Copy Art Bibliography compiled by Reed Altemus for Leonardo/ISAST

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