The technique, in essence, entails scanning drawings or photographs into a computer, which then prompts a laser to burn holes, or shapes, into paper or any other material. It may be the first inkless, not to mention textless, magazine.

To be precise, the magazine is really a portfolio of laser-cut multiples, all made with heavy black paper, loosely slid between shiny, colored, thick cardboard pages. The magazine cover is silver and black, part laser-cut, part silver-foil-stamped with the image of an apartment building. The look of the laser-cut works ranges from a fine, almost imperceptible black mesh to macrame. If you hold them at a certain angle, either up to the light or so that light can pass through the holes onto the magazine pages, you can see some of the images as faint, ghostly reflections. This is not always easy to do, and the temperamental, alchemical aspect is vaguely akin to holographs or old daguerreotypes, as is the implicit magic that comes with finding a face or flower, as if conjured up, out of the darkness.



Fuss photographed a shy girl, who seems more reticent because of the difficulty of making her image out; Mario Sorrenti has printed a skull; Maurizio Cattelan, an inscription in Arabic. Whiteread’s work resembles an exquisite doily, and Simon Periton’s the back of a torn wicker chair.



Laser cutting and engraving have been used by industry for at least a decade to make signs, cut lace and leather, do fine wood inlays and cut fashion patterns. ”The art world is always the last to embrace new technologies for lack of money,” says David Lasry of Two Palms Press in New York, who has used the technology to make works with the artists Chuck Close and Terry Winters. ”My family went to Yellowstone this summer. Every little trinket was made with laser cutting — coasters, cutouts of bears, pine trees, every cheesy souvenir. It’s just a tool. It saves us months and months of time and is more exact than the human hand. But ultimately, it’s what you do with it and whether what you make is good to look at or think about.”



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