printerprinter @ MdW Fair 2022
Mana Contemporary, Chicago
Saturday Sept. 10th 12-9PM Central &
Sunday Sept. 11th 1-5PM Central

Previous Explorations

Open Studio Exhibition
Chicago + Virtual
Sunday June 26th
2-6PM Central


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Sun Prints

Plants, animals, and natural processes also leave their mark on the world. Through collaboration with the sun, cyanotypes allow us to imagine how tools and technology can exist beyond the industrial. It broadens the definition of who and what printing involves.

Cyanotypes use shadows and UV-reactive chemicals to create prints after exposure to sun. They’ve often been used by botanists in the field to create quick impressions of impermanent flora. Since the process is one that’s done in sunlight, printing becomes open and observable–- not hidden inside the parts of a printer or locked inside a darkroom.

Chemicals commonly used in cyanotyping: ferric ammonium citrate or ferric ammonium oxalate, and potassium ferricyanide.

Hover (Tap on mobile) over the image to see what it looks like when the sun reacts with the chemicals to print

Printing Layers

Take a page and print something, the result is a combination of text and images with some significance. Take the same page and run it through the printer again (with another set of text or images), and the result might communicate something different. Through iteration, the layers build on each other and a new meaning emerges. Instead of the printed document being the finished product, it becomes a step towards something. Printer not as a means to complete something, but as an iterative ongoing process—towards a continuous printing.

Drag the below graphics to create new layers and meanings

Printer Jam

The grating office suite soundscape is defined by printers. But what if we leaned into this auditory churning, the printing byproduct? We recorded some printer sounds and created music out of it, a space for us to explore the unintended “printings” that occur. It’s a reminder of the multitudes that get generated in any given process… what else can we learn if we listen intently?

DIY Printer

Printers are often experienced as obstacles and nuisances, even in the creative process. They “break” often and run out of ink constantly without an apparent reason. Modern technology often relies on the black box effect to prevent any sort of relationship or understanding between consumers and the tools they use.

We assembled a DIY Arduino Printer Kit as a way to more deeply understand the mechanisms that allow for printing. When we build and tear down, it gives us a chance to see the wires and understand the code. It’s a vital step in shifting who possesses what knowledge, and it offers a space to fully celebrate what is happening with each print, to embrace the printer as a bridge between digital and physical, to see the printer as a collaborator in the creative process.