THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Saturday, May 14, 1977
Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY ,aturday, May 14, 1977
1863 "Luncheon on the Grass" 1977 "Luncheon in the Lot"
Art in the '70 s; earahhhgra fee.
By PAUL SHAPIRO
EAST LANSING, Michigan would not usually pop up
in discussions of contemporary creativity, but it is
there that a new art form is flourishing. On the campus
of Michigan State University, the Art School's Design
Center is currently wrapped up in zearahhgrafee, whose
adherents claim its rightful place in the art world. A
zearox (the creation of a zearahhhgrafer) is produced
through an electrostatic photographic system utilizing
dry powder, better known as a Xerox machine (whose
correct technical term is a dry copier).
According to zearahhhgrafee student Ira Socol, zea-
rahhhgrafee is an actual art form that has existed since
the fifties. Warhol experimented with it in the mid-
sixties, and it has been used by artists with increasing
frequency since then."
Students in MSU's Design Center create on four
machines, all manufactured by 3M Company (whose
machines they have found best suited for their needs);
the VQC Black and White Dry Copier (the VQC's ad-
vantage over other copiers is in its ability to "hold"
blacks without the "fade-out" visible with many old
machines and all new plain paper (solenium-drum)
copiers), the Termo-Fax Heat Transfer Copier, the
Promat Dry Transfer Type Setter, and the -Color-in-
Color Dry Copier (whose system, though slow and some-
what complicated, offers the greatest level of control
of any dry color copier, thus making it best for those
wishing to "design" their own color).
QOCOL, WHOSE work is currently on exhibit in local
art galleries, has a unique approach to zearahhhgra-
fee, differing with other professional artists. While most
create collages and then zearox them, using the ma-
chines' strange abilities to make their work "happen,"
Socol believes in creating on the machine, that is, pri-
marily, a fantastic camera. "I like to photograph peo-
ple and objects using the machines' unique features,"
says Socol, sighting the VQC's slide scanner (see "Roll-
ing Pepper" series), or the machines' color-in-color
separation system. "Even if - I go to the machine with
a piece of flat art work, I want it changed using what-
ever makes the machine different (ie. "progressive de-
generation" when you copy a copy of a copy-see "Ron-
ald Reagan Slides Right"). Through zearahhhgrafee
you can get surrealistic effects not found in photog-
raphy," he added. "First you play with it and then you
learn to control it."
Joe Kuszai, head of the Graphics and Design depart-
ment at MSU, said that he has been offering zearahhh-
grafee as a part of his graphics class since 1974. "We
teach kids how to use the machine," he commented.
"First they're usually just curious, but then they dis-
cover what they can do with it. Xerox machines are a
new tool, and will of course bring new 'ideas. That is
the essence of incorporating them into our program."
Several Design Center studnts will be receiving B.A.'s
with an emphasis on zearahhhgrafee.
In support of zearahhhgrafers, the 3M Company is
currently giving out grants that bring artists to St. Paul,
Minnesota to work with their wide variety of machines.
Xerox also awards grants to artists for creative use of
Although zearahhhgrafers are often plagued by jokes
and accusations concerning the validity of their work,
their numbers are growing daily. According to MSU's
Socol, "I think within the next ten years or so the
problems with legitimacy will fade, and zearahhhgrafee
will take its place in the art world next to still photog-
raphy." Meanwhile Socol is keeping busy rolling Dr.
Pepper bottles, and looking for buyers.
Paul Sh i Piro is the edit ')r of the Sahi rday Magazine.
'Ronald Reagan slides right'
'Rolline Pepper series'