Xerox selfies in front of art museums

Photocopier in front of Art Institute of Chicago

I’d like to stand outside an art museum with a xerox machine, offering pedestrians the opportunity to make their own xerox selfie. All day long, visitors look at art behind glass. Give these visitors a chance to have a memorable, intimate portrait of their own face pressed upon a glass—the glass of a Xerox machine.

People would be able to keep their own print. The xerox machine would be set to make two prints of every scan, so this project can keep the other copy. An edition of 2.

The pedestrian can also enter their email address to receive their xerox via email. (and they would be subscribed to the project’s email newsletter).

What would be the name of this project?

  • Portraits of Chicago
  • Immediate portraits
  • Chicago copied
  • Xerox selfies
  • Self-portrait on glass
  • Takeaway art

Signing your photocopy selfie

Each print would be signed by both the artist (me) and the person taking the selfie. A collaborative project.

Funny to think of the person as the subject also being the artist. If the Xerox machine is a camera, then wouldn’t I be the photographer? Photographers don’t consider their subject to be the artist. But for this project, the subject is also the artist.

Would the pedestrian’s autograph also be the signature for the contract, allowing me to reuse their image for this project? Maybe the contract could be printed in light text on the back of the xerox paper.

Would the person sign the front or the back of the xerox?

Would someone really want to sign their selfie once it’s done? Most people xerox their face for the act of doing it. The resulting print is not always the most pleasant. I’d imagine many people would not want to sign it.

Another artist on the sidewalk of the Art Institute of Chicago

This project is influence by my experience encountering Chicago’s clothespin artist Paul Zubrzycki on the sidewalk in front of the Art Institute. The day in 1994, he was handing out free xeroxes of a clothespin silhouette. His chat with my friends and I have influenced my approach to art this day—an art for everyone.

Paul Zubrzycki clothespin print 1994.

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