Roth often likened his studio to a kitchen in which he followed recipes to make artistic rather than culinary delights. Beginning in the early 1960s, he began gathering ingredients from the floor of local printshops, repurposing preprinted, discarded, overprinted, or waste materials that he found there. He collated hundreds of these sheets—newsprint, comics, coloring-book pages—into volumes, with little concern for the order or orientation of the pages.
Drawing on his background in advertising, Roth recognized that the ultimate goal of newspapers and magazines was not to inform or entertain but to sell as many copies as possible. He expressed this in his phrase “power = Quantity.” Roth himself created quantity through accumulation, as is evident in his miniature volume of tiny clippings from the British tabloid daily mirror book (a 1962 microbook that spawned the macro Quadrat Print of 1965) and The Lake of Tears (1973), containing Roth’s poetic classified advertisements bound in volumes of thousands of pages.
The peripatetic artist found postcards essential as both a means of communicating with friends and colleagues from the road and the raw material for many projects. He subjected them to a dazzling array of manipulations, from enlargement and repetition to overprinting and miniaturization.