Over the past few months (perhaps a bit longer) I have been discussing the idea of a UWE graduate print editioning / studio practice with Spike Print Studio in Bristol. The two organisations already share existing links through scholarships and professional practice internships such as the Peter Reddick Bursary, the SPS/UWE Scholarship and SPS/UWE Member Technician award. The proposed print editioning venture intends to build upon these relationships by utilising the multifaceted nature of the print studio – as a bridge between professional and educational practices. More over, the intention of the exhibition is to begin highlighting the commonalities that exist through multi-participatory (SPS) and multi-disciplinary (UWE) studio practice. As previously mentioned the aim will be to forge a print editioning practice between SPS and UWE that will complement existing relationships and extend the scope for professional practices that are predicated in print. The exhibition will therefore highlight stories from alumni who have experience of both educational and professional studio practice – and present these as written and visual narratives within an exhibition context.
The exhibition will take place at UWE’s Bower Ashton Studios in the F-Block Gallery from Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th October 2018 (gallery opening times 10am – 5pm). Private View Thursday 18th at 5.00pm
UCM students approached the technologically themed brief in a variety of different ways. The multitude of approaches maybe best interpreted as either creative responses to a question, or extensions of existing ideas that resonated with the brief. Interestingly the UCM student’s explored similar perspectives to the previous student participants, namely dystopian undercurrents and possibilities toward the humanisation of digital technology.
For example, artist Edward Jobst Andrews Gerda responded to the entanglement of loss and memory in a moment where digital technology (and especially social networking) has enacted the possibility of outliving our physical bodies.
Artist Tania Tsong de O’Pazo practice explores the relationship between material and sentimental space emphasizing the need for contemplation in an age of immediacy and mass production.
Laura Valor’s print combines intuitive methods with automated systems, bridging communicative strategies toward a fusion of human and binary languages.
Estela Barceló Molina series Prememoria offers insights into the humanisation of digital technologies. Here manual labour aligns with a critical making movement where time is uncompressed and ‘imperfection’ offers possibility.
Julia Garcia Gilarranz project attempts to bridge the mapping of space through body movement. The work explores sensor technology and the interactive potential of digital tools to record external information and represent physical phenomenon – as ghost images. The complete set of images from the UCM students can be seen below and a PDF description of each project can be viewed here.
Laidler, P. (2018) Printed Conversations & Collaborative Undertakings, g&e Print and Art Edition Magazine (www.grabadoyedicion.com), ISSUE 60, pp 30-43 ISSN 1886-2306
Recently wrote some words for the Madrid based Print and Art Editions Magazine g&e. The article reflects on conversations that I have had with a number of artists about the impact of digital technology on physical practice(s) in the graphic arts. All conversations were developed as part of collaborative studio production at the CFPR. The work enabled the artists and myself to produce a series of digitally mediated print editions that revealed the inner workings of realising ideas in print. The studio work and conversations also formed the curatorial premise behind the Just Press Print exhibition that traveled around the USA between 2016-18.
Traditionally when a print studio approaches an artist about producing a print edition, the studio director or master printer would often show the artist a process, material or tool that they may not have encountered before. This technically-led approach can sometimes offer a different, new or novel option for the artist, and is often considered to be the main collaborative contribution of the print editioning studio. The collaborative print studio model has been adopted at The Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), part of the University of the West of England, as a method to explore processes and methodologies associated with creative and applied practices in print. As a researcher, printer and publisher at the CFPR the print studio (as research space) is an ideal setting to initiate practice related dialogues that are predicated in print. This approach has been central to my research inquiries and subsequent curatorial considerations when unearthing insights that are unique to the act of making. More specifically, the introduction of digital technologies within this environment helped forge a curatorial premise and selection of artists for the exhibition Just Press Print.
Laidler, P. (2018) Mapping Post-digital Practice in the Graphic Arts, Printmaking Today, Vol 27 No 2 Summer, p.15 ISSN 0960 9253
It has been suggested by a range of established commentators that digital technology may have potentially created a ‘mental change’ within the creative process of making images and objects. Although this statement is somewhat broad and our ability to understand change often requires a certain amount of time to have passed (before the significance of an event may be better understood) the compulsion to begin considering these ruminations has been central to my own practice and the subsequent initiation of the ‘Looking Through the Eyes of Machines as Students’ exhibition. The project is an international print exchange between Graphic Arts programmes at UWE (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK); MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA) and UCM (Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid). The curatorial premise for the exhibition is a practice based inquiry that aims to begin mapping a Postdigital response to making in the graphic arts. The exhibition presents a cohort of emergent student and graduate practitioners from the disciplines of Fine Art Printmaking, Graphic Design and Illustration and will be exhibited at the Impact 10 Printmaking Conference in September 2018. Full version of article available at Cello Press
Many thanks to The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland for hosting an exceptional conference in December 2017. The team at the Wrocław School of Printmaking invited a range of speakers including artists, theoreticians, researchers and students to comment on the topic of Post-digital Printmaking. The event also included a number of exhibitions that demonstrated the breadth of ideas being explored in this emergent area of the graphic arts. I have recently had my conference presentation Looking Through the Eyes of Machines accepted for publication in the Summer 2018 edition Printmaking Today. The article is an overview of the presentation and provides some insights into an ongoing inquiry.
This years miniature print is underway for the MA Printmaking course at UWE. Part continuation of last years 3D printed potato model (of Devils Tower) and part sketch for creating a billboard series of laser engraved film locations.
Eugeniusz Geppert Academy Conference Call:
Printmaking was always based on experiment. Sensitive to new trends, Printmakers have never been afraid to integrate innovation into their field. This attribute remains symptomatic also in post-digital era when Printmakers are still eager for new technologies. As a result, this discipline is still alive and vigorous. Though evolving into the unknown, leaving many question marks on its path, it can be seen that the digital revolution has not destroyed the printing tradition.
It has been suggested by a range of established commentators that digital technology may have potentially created a ‘mental change’ within the creative process of making graphic images and objects. Although this statement is somewhat broad and our ability to understand change often requires a certain amount of time to have passed (before the significance of an event may be better understood) the compulsion to begin considering these ruminations has been central to my own practice and the subsequent initiation of a practice related project entitled ‘Looking Through the Eyes of Machines as Humans’.
The technologically informed scene for the project comments on the emergence of Post-digital making in the Graphic Arts and seeks to examine how technology has expanded conceptual and procedural possibilities for making prints. The exploration of both digitally mediated production methods and themes that are symptomatic of a digital age attempt to speculate upon or reveal forthcoming incarnations of a Post-digital mindset. For example, the continuous integration of digital technology into all aspects of our lives is having a profound impact on how we physically interact, communicate, make and respond to phenomena – tactile sensibilities that may recede or mutate as the digital native matures.
The initiation of the project has taken the form of an international print exchange between Graphic Arts programmes at UWE (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK); MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA) and UCM (Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid). The curatorial premise for the exhibition is a practice based inquiry that aims to begin mapping a Post-digital response to making in the graphic arts. The exhibition presents a cohort of emergent practitioners from the disciplines of Fine Art Printmaking, Graphic Design and Illustration.
The short video above offers an overview from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid who are working with the The Ankaria Foundation as part of a pioneering program to promote young graphic artists in Spain. I was invited by the two partners for a week long symposium in April 2017 as part of an international seminar that builds upon the Looking through the eyes of machines project – previously initiated as part of a student exchange exhibition between MICA and UWE in 2016.
The continuation of the student project will include UCM Fine Arts students and others from various Spanish and international educational institutions. Fifteen students will participate in the project, whose graphic projects have previously been selected by a committee of experts, including the director of the Ankaria Foundation, Isabel Elorrieta, and the vice-dean of culture of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Margarita González. The aim of the symposium is to promote the creation and dissemination of creative and research work on contemporary graphic art and its relationship with technologies.
Laidler, P (2017) Collaborative Print Studio, g&e Print and Art Edition Magazine (www.grabadoyedicion.com), ISSUE 55, pp 27 – 40 ISSN 1886-2306.
The article Collaborative Print Studio in the March 2017 edition of the ‘g & e Print and Art Edition Magazine’ discusses the concept of the master printer and the collaborative model within the discipline of Printmaking. These precedents are then described in relation to the introduction of digital technologies and the development of a specialist digital print studio that I initiated at the Centre For Fine Print Research (UWE) in 2013.
The collaborative print studio has had profound impact upon the production and realisation of some of the most innovative prints within the discipline of fine art printmaking. Historically an artist with little understanding of the print process or access to print facilities could seek the technical knowledge and craft sensibilities from a master printer. In some instances, these unique collaborative pursuits redefined production methods and push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible. These historical precedents have been established through mechanical modes of production and have contributed to defining the roles, expectations, production, publication and artisanship of the collaborative print studio.