When Duncan Kerr was Federal Member for Denison, his office at 88 Collins Street, Hobart had a photocopier that was available to the public to use free of charge. The photocopier was not promoted in any formal way, and most Hobart residents learned of it via word of mouth. During Duncan Kerr’s time as Member for Denison from 1987 to 2010, the photocopier remained a resource to anyone with a do-it-yourself ethic and a desire to produce fliers or posters in Hobart. Countless lost pets, music gigs, art exhibitions, film screenings, house parties, political and community messages were promoted with help from this free service.
When I made a call to Duncan Kerr’s office enquiring about the photocopier in 2009, I was told by the receptionist that there were no specific guidelines or policies concerning its use. However there were three notices that hung above the photocopier that instructed users. The first read: “Consider our Planet! How many copies do you REALLY need?” The second read: “We often need to use this photocopier, it is the only one in the office. Please tell us when you start, if you are going to be longer than 15 minutes.” The last asked photocopiers to take note of Australian copyright regulations.
To pay tribute to this photocopier and the creative endeavours it helped to realise, a free photocopier was made available to the public as part of the group show “Return to Sender” held at Burnie Regional Art Gallery and curated by Astrid Joyce in 2009. As part of this tribute, gallery visitors were encouraged to make fliers for an event they were organising, with no limit on the number of copies. Users were asked to leave a copy of the flyer on the gallery wall to be exhibited as part of the work.