About this archive
PhotoStatic was a magazine, a periodical series of printed works that focused on xerography as the source of a particular visual language that was widely used by graphic artists in the various art and music underground scenes of the 80s and 90s. During this time, the publication served as a forum to collect and redistribute artworks that originated in these scenes. Eventually, its scope extended to embrace not only graphic works, but also concrete poetry, correspondence art, ephemera from works in other media, essays, fiction, reviews, and reports on various cultural scenes, including Neoism, the home taping community, the zine community, and mail art.
Founded by editor Lloyd Dunn in 1983, the magazine continued in some form until as late as 1998. It inevitably underwent several transformations; for example, in 1987, to reflect changing interests, the zine was renamed Retrofuturism, and became closely associated with the intermedia group The Tape-beatles*. At the end of 1989, at the height of its circulation, the title ceased publication in observance of the Neoist Art Strike 1990-1993*. (Dunn also went abroad to live for a time shortly after this*.)
After re-emerging in the mid-nineties as Psrf (letters chosen to reflect both earlier titles), the project was not again able to find traction. The internet boom was well underway, and so it seemed that the cultural moment for this type of publication had simply passed on.
About this site
This site is intended to serve as a repository for a complete collection of PhotoStatic Magazine, Retrofuturism, Psrf, and related titles, in electronic form.
We are posting issues as pdf files, one at a time at more or less regular intervals, in like manner to how they first appeared, in deference to the original publication’s bimonthly schedule. These issues will appear in reverse chronological order to form a mirror image in time of the original series. People entirely new to this content will therefore have the opportunity to see the work sequentially with its origins unveiled, as opposed to how its creators saw it, inevitably in terms of an unfolding, often surprising, future.
The final issue of the archive (PhotoStatic no. 1) has been posted, and so the archive is now complete.
Collections of these works, in varying degrees of completeness, can be found housed in their original paper form in the following collections (complete collections are indicated):
- Library of the Museum of Modern Art, New York (complete)
- Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City (complete)
- Iowa State Historical Society, Des Moines, Iowa (complete)
- Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- Library, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York
- Savitz Library, Glassboro State College, Glassboro, New Jersey
- Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Art Journals, Richmond, Virginia
- UCLA Library (Mark Rose Collection), Los Angeles, California
- San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California
Our subscription records show that our readership was widely distributed throughout the world. Although concentrated in the US, our records for Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands all show substantial numbers of addresses. In addition, these publications were also regularly sent to addresses in Mexico, South America (Brazil, Uruguay), Europe (Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union), Asia (India, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong) and Australia.
As our schedules permit, we will be attempting to re-contract all the participants in the project. If you find your work here or the work of someone you know, and we haven’t yet been in touch, feel free to contact us first by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.