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Cheap Copies! DIY publishing with Mimeo, Hecto and Ditto

August 23, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on August 23, 2022 at 6:00 pm

with Rich Dana
Mon Aug. 22 & Tues Aug. 23 , 6-9pm
at PS1 Close (538 S. Gilbert)
pay-what-you-can: $15-100

Visit http://www.publicspaceone.com/events/cheap-copies to register

Before social media, even before xerox-copied zines and flyers, marginalized communities used simple copying techniques– hectography (gelatin printing) mimeography (stencil printing) and spirit duplication (alcohol transfers, also known as “ditto”)– to make their voices heard. From political activists struggling for independence in India to the early gay rights activists in New York City, and from the dissident writers of Samizdat (self publishing) in the Soviet Union to the striking migrant farm workers of Southern California, these analog copiers were used to spread the word through words and pictures in the 20th century.

Mostly forgotten, I have been studying and recreating these techniques for the last 10 years. In 2021, I self-published a book called “Cheap Copies! As a DIY guide for those who want to reconnect with the non-digital world of analog communication.

This summer, I’m setting out across the US on a series of in-person workshops to demonstrate these low-cost techniques and how contemporary artists and writers can use them to publish editions of zines, chapbooks, prints, and flyers. We’ll begin by discussing the history of office copying technology and how marginalized creators adopted these techniques in the early 20th century. Next, we’ll dive into demos of making master sheets, operation of vintage copiers, and creating our own simple copiers from off-the-shelf materials. Finally, participants will have full access to all of the materials and equipment to create their own editions with guidance from the instructor (me!) Participants will leave with the ability to create their own prints with miminal investment and without a studio.


August 23, 2022
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


PS1 Close
538 S Gilbert St
Iowa City, IA 52240 United States