The mid-20th century was the peak of avant-garde art, where artists and photographers resorted to alternative means to create artworks. The photocopier was one of them, and became a creative tool between the 60's and the 80's
The photocopier machine (the most famous one would be Xerox) was intended for the office and corporate realm, where workers were supposed to utilize the machine for reproducing paper and clerical work for documentation, but this did not stop artists to see it alternatively.
Photocopier artists such as Edward Meneeley, Lesley Schiff and Robert Whitman used the machine as both camera and printing press to create their own fine art prints, placing real life objects on the flatbed, scanning, manipulating exposure, density and saturation with the machine. The results evolved into more than 'copies' and become still lifes, portraits, abstractions, and collages.
Gander and muse through Experiments in Electrostatics: Photocopy Art From the Whitney's Collection, 1966–1986 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, running through March 2018.
Images are from the press kit.