Throughout the suite there is an underlying tension between the super-serious themes of the Cold War/The Space Race/Globalisation and the banality of popular consumer products/images/media outputs. Pure pattern takes a bit more of a back seat, but is still used selectively to great effect. Where written language had become progressively more central to Paolozzi's work in the preceding suites, Z.E.E.P. is a celebration of hectically assembled, maximum-impact visual imagery.
Z.E.E.P. was published in 1970 by Petersburg Press in an edition of 125; (some sources state 100). Presented in a silver solander box, the prints are 860mm x 600mm.
As the 60s came to a close Paolozzi was seeking to maximise his use of the more photo-friendly lithography process. However, creative demands intervened and in a letter dated 2nd February 1970 Paolozzi told Diane Kirkpatrick:
The new set of prints is called Zero Energy Experimental Pile is (sic) half-way through proofing, once again the original intention was to use photolitho exclusively but screen printing is beginning to appear.
First print glories in the title: Plus Cry on my Shoulder, No Sad Songs etc: