I Print, Therefore I Am

Video Artist: Egor Kraft
Video Genre: , Country: Year: Duration: 2 min 50 sec


…Mov­able type was ar­che­type and pro­to­type for all sub­se­quent in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment. With­out pho­netic lit­er­acy and the print­ing press, mod­ern in­dus­tri­al­ism would be im­pos­si­ble…’ (Mar­shall McLuhan, in­ter­view, 1969).

A dig­i­tal printer had been mod­i­fied so that it can con­tin­u­ously per­form print­ing on a looped-back sheet of pa­per, run­ning through cy­cles over and over again. An ink sup­ply sys­tem – con­tain­ing a 5 litre can of ink con­nected to the car­tridge is then con­nected to the hacked printer, it is thus able to print non-stop through­out the du­ra­tion of the whole ex­hi­bi­tion, about 2 months, re­lent­lessly re­pro­duc­ing the same line ‘I print, there­fore I am’ (rephrased from ‘I think, there­fore I am’- René Descartes, Dis­cours de la Meth­ode, 1637).

Through con­tin­u­ous repet­i­tive ac­tiv­ity the printer man­i­fests its own ex­is­tence, func­tion­ing in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of me­chan­i­cal, in­dus­trial and con­sumer cul­ture, formed dur­ing the 20th cen­tury and now be­com­ing some­what ob­so­lete. This work also ref­er­ences that the ori­gin of these prin­ci­ples evolved from the in­ven­tion of print­ing tech­nol­ogy, which re­mains the tem­plate for all sub­se­quent mech­a­ni­sa­tion.

It is ob­vi­ous that the “Ty­po­graphic trance” is be­com­ing ob­so­lete and is re­placed by more so­phis­ti­cated me­dia tech­nolo­gies which pro­vide us with more op­por­tu­ni­ties for proac­tive re­ac­tion. In this con­text spec­ta­tor is pro­posed to think of the printer, as the world’s last work­ing printer, still print­ing, re­lent­lessly and point­lessly, with­out be­ing aware of the fact that new logic has come into force.

Egor Kraft

In­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist Egor Kraft (b. 1986 in St.Pe­ters­burg, Rus­sia) cur­rently lives and works in Berlin & Lon­don. Egor ac­quired his ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in Fine Arts in both Russ­ian and Swedish schools, and later in Arts and Me­dia The­ory at the Moscow Rod­chenko School, The Acad­emy of Fine Arts in Vi­enna and Cen­tral Saint Mar­t­in’s Col­lege of Art and De­sign in Lon­don, where he stud­ied un­der a grant. Over the course of the past few years he has par­tic­i­pated in in­ter­na­tional group ex­hi­bi­tions, bi­en­nales and par­al­lel events in­clud­ing; The Moscow Bi­en­nale of Young Art, Ar­se­nale, the Par­al­lel Pro­gramme of Man­i­festa 10 in St. Pe­ters­burg and in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tions in Aus­tralia, the Nether­lands, Spain, Italy, Aus­tria, Rus­sia, Es­to­nia, Poland, Swe­den and the UK. Egor has had two large-scale solo ex­hi­bi­tions in St. Pe­ters­burg and Tallinn, was nom­i­nated for var­i­ous prizes in­clud­ing the Kuryokhin Prize and has com­pleted artis­tic com­mis­sions for the Moscow Tretyakov State Gallery, Vi­enna Art Fair and Her­mitage Mu­seum.