Past Lives: Found Risograph Ephemera Compiled by George Wietor
By: George Wietor
Chicago: Temporary Services, December 2014
Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Cover: soft cover
Binding: staple bound
Process:Two color Risograph
Color: Two-color Risograph
Edition Size: 320
This publication is for Risograph* nerds. Just about every publisher we know that prints with a Risograph got it used from some place else. A used Risograph comes with a color drum with a master printing template on the drum. This reveals something of the previous life the machine had. The cover of this booklet shows a couple dining using a Risograph as their table.
So much of what we understand about Risograph duplicators is the result of countless email exchanges with George Wietor of Issue Press. It was great fun to work with George on this booklet. He came down to Chicago from Grand Rapids, Michigan and we banged out the entire booklet on our RISO EZ390U in just a day of printing.
For Past Lives, George unpacks the history of RISOGRAPH duplicators in a short introduction and then delves into traces of how the machines have been used. RISOs create a film or "master" for each copy made and if you buy a used machine, or a used ink drum, it's common to find an old master from the last print job still sitting in the machine. The contents of these masters on the print drums often say something about the past life of the machine, which may have come from a church, a school, a library, or some reseller's repair shop where a complex test pattern was the last thing printed before the unit was refurbished and resold. This booklet presents evidence from the past lives of machines used by Issue Press and other artist presses, including Temporary Services.
*Color duplicators that look like photocopiers, but that print in layers of solid color with a result that looks a lot like screen printing. A self-publishing "cult" of the Risograph has emerged in the past ten years and many people are now using them to print.