Bicycle Thief
Stolon Press

Bicycle Thief asks two important questions. The first, what does it mean for knowledge to emerge from the unknown and the unknowable, from an opacity that unfurls hidden relations, moving backwards and forwards such that we can rethink the progression of time itself, from the (re)reading of the familiar into the as-yet imagined? And the second, how can two friends photocopy a bicycle?”

— Andrew Brooks & Astrid Lorange, authors of Homework


Our self-imposed problem was not immediately historical but practical: how to get this Fuji bike on the copier? Or: how to create a kind of analogue network that allowed both machines, copier and bike, to speak to each other? First, we unscrewed the lid of the copier so we could place the bike on the flat glass surface without hinderance. Then, as I held the bike awkwardly in place, S ducked under the wheel and pressed the green copy button. The difficulty was getting the three-dimensionality of the bike level for the photocopier to register (read) its form. To do this, parts of the bike had to come off too. Maybe it’s necessary to forget the many parts of a machine when it’s being used for its intended purpose, but to use it otherwise, against its function, you need to approach it like a body or an animal fossil, attending carefully to its anatomy (maybe this is what it’s like to steal bike parts, too? You’ll often see leftovers of thefts in the city, a bare frame still chained to a fence like a carcass, with all the valuable parts removed).

Text by Tom Melick
Images by Simryn Gill and Tom Melick
Copyediting by Naomi Riddle
Proofreading by Elina Alter
Typesetting by Ruud Ruttens, Ghent
May 2024

34 pp., 370 × 300 mm, softcover
24 black-and-white images
ISBN 978-0-6453840-8-6