53 • Reed Altemus


chaos by the letter

This work was done on a Canon PC920 desktop analogue photocopier. First collages with various backgrounds and randomized strings of letters were made. A series of manipulations was made on the copier glass using a technique which is usually called "copy motion"- we've all seen it before, moving the collages on the glass while the copier scans the documents, resulting in stretches and distortions of the manipulated originals. This is process-based work because it uses the technological process of xerography and because the artist's interaction with the machine in the performance of making the work always reveals the working process. The work here is concerned with the idea of VISUAL NOISE- different from sound poetry because it is not intended to be performed but rather purely as a visual experience. No copy shop was harmed in the making of this issue of Xerolage!

Born 1961 Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Reed Altemus is an intermedia artist working in visual poetry, xerography, stamp art, performance and small press publications. Formerly a musician visual art began for Altemus in 1989 through Daniel PlunkettÕs ND and Lloyd DunnÕs Photostatic zines. In 1991, he met Carlo Pittore and through Pittore met Bern Porter. His primary mentor in mail art was Chuck Welch AKA Cracker Jack Kid. Later in 1991 he discovered email at university and applied it to art networking. He worked for the internet art journal FineArt Forum (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) for two years as database moderator, compilng a list of Internet Art Resources, at the time the most comprehensive of its kind (only one before had been compiled by Bob Gale). 1992, compiled an academic international descriptive Copy Art Bibliography, 250 full citations in APA style, see www.leonardo.info/isast/spec.projects/electrobib.html. His involvement with mail art continued alongside the research. From 1996-2006 he worked in copy art almost exclusively and developed a small oeuvre in that medium. In 1997, after extensive researches in the field, he founded the International Copy Art Archive. In 2002 he entered the small press scene contributing to the following magazines since that year: Rampike (Canada), Offerta Speciale (Italy), Unarmed(USA), Open World (Serbia), Otoliths (Australia), Lost & Found Times (USA), Boxon (France), SCORE (USA), Signal (Serbia), Blackbox (USA), Moria (USA), Gestalten (USA), Blackbird (USA), Xtant (USA), fhole (Canada), Voce Piena (USA), Generator (USA), Letter Founder (USA), Communicarte (Brazil), Miniature Forest (USA), Arnyekkotok (Hungary) , Big Ode (Portugal), Wohnzimmer (Germany). He has exhibited his work in group shows internationally and has shown his work often in the New England area and beyond in the past few years. He currently lives and works in Portland Maine. See www.reedaltemus.org

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