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Big Fag powers Sydney’s print revolution

Wednesday, 25 June 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

Armed with a Riso printer and a fierce anti-capitalist ideology, Sydney collective, The Big Fag Press, has started a printing revolution that anyone can be a part of.

The collective paid $50 for the press at a liquidation auction five years ago and since then have become the cornerstone for local writers, activists and artists alike who can all print and self-publish their work for free via the machine lovingly known as The Big Fag.

"It’s a printing machine, but it’s not only that," member, Kernow Craig, told media. "And it’s a printing collective, but it’s not only that. Because of all those different stories, it’s also constantly exceeding itself."

Last week, the collective staged the Fagette Live Zine Spectacular at PACT Theatre in Erskineville. Boasting to "print where no printer has ever dared print before", the night involved audience members contributing to the printing of a collective zine (alternative, homemade magazine).

Imagetec donated inks and masters to the group for its Zine Spectacular. Pam Bentall, sales manager, who attended the event, was impressed by the capabilities of the collective.

"They’re doing very interesting things with the machine like overlaying colours," she said. "The effects are great; they’re very creative."

Pictured: Imagetec’s national sales manager, Pam Bentall (right) shows the revolutionaries the ropes of printing.

It might seem radical, but the collective are also interested in teaching the art of printing to outsiders. Their website offers a free spot colour tutorial and artists are encouraged to be a part of the printing process.

One member of the collective said that: "There’s a real joy and pleasure in being able to do it [printing] yourself, and also being able to get a result that you wouldn’t be able to get in any other way. We try to make sure that whoever’s doing the job with us is here on the day of printing."

"We call ourselves Sydney’s only artist-run offset [sic] printing co-op. Which is pretty safe."

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