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«CODED ARCHETYPES
(Bern, Beijing, New York»


Series of nine wood cuts (plates CNC machined), 2018 – 2019, each 100x70 cm
each picture is printed on black-monochrome, laser-printed copy paper (every woodcut is in a different shade of yellow; an individual, commercially available «yellow» printer toner was used as the colour basis for each woodcut)


«Coded Archetypes» shines a light on aspects of today’s mass graphic reproduction that are almost unknown to the general public. At the same time, it’s aim is to explore the history, and subsequently the contemporary possibilities of woodcut techniques. As part of a crackdown on crime following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 almost every copier prints a nearly invisible pattern of yellow dots known as a machine identification code on every sheet.
Christian Herren used these codes, which can still be found on almost all printouts from conventional laserprinters, as a starting point for the Coded Archetypes series.