I Print Therefore I Am

Kinetic sculpture, 2015. 

Modified printer, paper roll, 5l can of inks.


The work was first shown at the exhibition 'Printed Matter' at the Museum of Printing within the parallel program of Manifesta 10 in St.Petersburg.

‘…Movable type was archetype and prototype for all subsequent industrial development. Without phonetic literacy and the printing press, modern industrialism would be impossible…’ (Marshall McLuhan, interview, 1969).

 

A digital printer had been modified so that it can continuously perform printing on a looped-back sheet of paper, running through cycles over and over again. An ink supply system - containing a 5 litre can of ink connected to the cartridge is then connected to the hacked printer, it is thus able to print non-stop throughout the duration of the whole exhibition, about 2 months, relentlessly reproducing the same line 'I print, therefore I am' (rephrased from 'I think, therefore I am’- René Descartes, Discours de la Methode, 1637).

Through continuous repetitive activity the printer manifests its own existence, functioning in accordance with the principles of mechanical, industrial and consumer culture, formed during the 20th century and now becoming somewhat obsolete. This work also references that the origin of these principles evolved from the invention of printing technology, which remains the template for all subsequent mechanisation.
It is obvious that the "Typographic trance" is becoming obsolete and is replaced by more sophisticated media technologies which provide us with more opportunities for proactive reaction. In this context spectator is proposed to think of the printer, as the world’s last working printer, still printing, relentlessly and pointlessly, without being aware of the fact that new logic has come into force.