While zines are typically small-circulation, self-published works often produced on copy machines, the JCU Zine Club also used a small 3D-printed etching press to help produce one of the zines. There is something undeniably impactful about creating a physical artifact, as opposed to a digital work, and that is exactly what Roger aimed to capture for the Zine Club’s members.
Though we may tend to think of print as a dying technology, it is a thriving art form. “Printing and constructing — whether that involves paints, inks, stamps, or other tools — provides us with the opportunity to learn with our hands as well as our minds. Even the smell of the paper and the ink imprints on our memory of the event, which is an event of imagination,” Roger says.
The “event of imagination” is a concept that Roger is eager to help his students explore. “Storytelling has a long history, of course, and so does printing,” he says. “Now, as we create our own works, we are a part of that history. We can ask ourselves where we are in that moment of the tradition. Are we just having fun or is this a more significant cultural event than we realise? Are we participating in a tradition or are we continuing it, ensuring its survival?”