The Human Printer
Selfridges, 2019

A live printing event in London’s department store, Selfridges.

The Human Printer (initiated in 2009) is an on-going project, which takes the form of a printing service that reproduces digital images by hand, following the same layered CMYK half-tone process as a digital printer. Hand rendering the digital printing process, The Human Printer examines the potential for self-expression through mark making within an autocratic system.

In 2019 The Human Printer (invited through common-editions) worked with a team of 20 people over several days to hand print an image of a landscape, live, within a Selfridge’s window display.  The source image was generated through Minecraft – a computer game which allows the user to move through a 3D generated space and construct their own world using simple building blocks. The choice of Minecraft conceptually reiterated the overarching concerns of The Human Printer: collision and friction between the organic and inorganic; between freedom and control.
Images by Hannah Thual