Ideal for Accessible Printmaking, at Zygote Press

Strawberry, Risograph print by Sanaa Khan (Tiny Splendor).

Zygote Press is happy to present Ideal, an exhibition of contemporary artists using Risograph duplicators. Besides creating their own artwork, they use their equipment and skills to make printing and self-publishing accessible and push the technical limits of the media.

The transparency of Riso inks can be used to create multiple tones using only a few colors. This process can be time consuming and expensive, but there are a few people around the world working to make it accessible. Travis Shaffer (University of Missouri) runs color/shift, a research project and online resource dedicated to the development of experimental color models that lean into the erratic nature of risograph printing. ANEMONE is a collaboration and artist initiative by Amelia and Adam Greenhall (Seattle). They have created Spectrolite, a free app for color separation and publication layouts.

Spectrolite app by ANEMONE: Color separation, halftoning, posterizing, layouts for art prints, zine and booklet imposition, and a bunch of other fun things.

Risographs were originally designed for cost-efficient, high-volume print jobs. As commercial print shops began to retire these machines, artists and designers adopted them as affordable means of producing multiples, embracing their imperfections and limited color palettes. The affordability of Riso printing makes it a perfect tool for community organizing. Rachel Delmotte (Detroit) works with an equity-centered approach to community printing. She is committed to removing socio-economic and bias barriers historically associated with print publication by providing accessible educational resources and workshops. Secret Riso Club and GenderFail (NYC) are anti-capitalist studios prioritizing people over profit. As Be Oakley describes it, “GenderFail is not non-for-profit but profit-for-survival or profit-to-continue-our-work-without-other-means-of-capital and most importantly to make money for others I publish, to create profit-for-labor.” Issue Press (Grand Rapids) is a tiny print shop operated by George Wietor. In addition to publishing, Wietor has initiated several side projects dedicated to the growth of the international Riso community, including and An Atlas of Modern Risography, and has co-founded the North American Risograph Conference (NARC).

The exhibition will also include experimental animations by Julia Schimautz (Berlin), works by Henry Gepfer (Lancaster, PA), Sabrina Lau (NYC), and multiple artists published by Tiny Splendor (California).

In My Room, by Max Stadnik (Tiny Splendor).


1410 East 30th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

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