Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're not curing cancer...but...

I am really excited by new advances that science offers as possibilities. Here are the things I'm excited about today in the world of print...

Oldies but goodies are new ideas again...Polaroid announced their new digital photo printer - which will be the equivalent to the polaroids of yesterday. It will print using a new thermal technology - no ink cartridges or chips...the image is developed using print heads that interpret the image into heat -which in turn heats special paper ...wow. click here for instant mobile printer which can be used with cell phones and digital printers. Though, sounds like there are concerns about finding a niche - since we are all getting used to looking at pictures in the virtual screen, web world.

Next, printable skin...inkjet printers are being hacked to be able to print human tissue cells to grow new organs. The first bladder created in a lab using this technology was actually transplanted here in Philadelphia at Thomas Jefferson hospital! Heart cells in ink jet printers - these are exciting times. I saw this story on CBS Sunday Morning and it was mind blowing... The Future Is Here: Regenerative Powder, Ink Jet Heart Cells And Custom-Made Body Parts

While at Southern Graphics Council Conference - we met up with Steve Hoskins who is in Bristol, England at the Centre for Fine Print Research. "We recognise however, that print is inexorably linked to industrial development so therefore we are also equally comfortable with conducting research from an industrial perspective." Another location here in the US is Eyebeam gallery in New York is also supporting art and technology endeavors.

And, just to show that I love the history of print as much as the future of the media, here is a trailer for the movie, Goya's Ghosts which I just watched recently. The opening to the movie features Goya's prints and there is a wonderful scene where printers are etching Goya's copper plates and printing them. The Holy Inquisition is unhappy with the "filth" that Goya's prints depict, and uber weasily bad guy, played by Javier Bardem is explaining to them, it is not the artist who should be blamed, but the people the artist is portraying...which ultimately leads down a dreadful path. I enjoyed the cinematic power to allow those powerful prints to occupy a space other than a print study room. Here is the movie trailer which features some prints and even a copper plate!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Southern Graphics Conference 2007

Philly was represented proudly at the 2007 Southern Graphics Council Conference graciously hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University at the end of March. Philagrafika 2010 Curatorial Team members José Roca and Shelley Langdale presented in panel discussions, as well as Daniel Heyman who presented a fabulous panel about art in a time of war. It was exciting to see Shelley and José introduce some of the ideas for 2010 as content.

Shelley Bancroft and Peter Nesbitt of Art on Paper and Triple Candie gallery were the conference keynote speakers and delivered a wonderful summary of what trends develop around prints and in works on paper - including the trend for print shops to either create huge editions or very small but large scale editions to cater to the current markets. (image of Shelley and Peter's presentation above)

Daniel Heyman presented with Sandow Birk and Paul Mullowney on The Printmaker in Wartime: The Influence of Callot and Goya on 21st Century Art. This panel focused on Heyman's current project of documentation of interviews with detainees from Abu Ghraib prison and Birk's series Depravities of War
created with Paul at Hui Press in Hawaii. (photo: Daniel, Paul, Cindi Ettinger and Sandow Birk)

Shelley Langdale of the Philadelphia Museum of Art presented on the conference thematic panel, Command Print. Each presenter took a different tack, tying themes they saw develop during presentations throughout the week. Fellow Command Print panelists included artist and critic Johanna Drucker; artist and educator Steve Murakishi; and artist and critic Mark Harris. Each panelist looked at the state of the field of print from a different angle - Johanna from a theoretical; Mark from a science fictional future looking back; Steve from a pop culture angle and Shelley from a curatorial perspective.

The Bits and Atoms panel organized by Deb Cornell featured José Roca - who took a different tack on the digital by talking about the opportunities the internet offers artists for dissemination of ideas - exemplified through artists projects such as Superflex. He also spoke of the latent print - the possibility for print that the digital practice offers.

Philadelphia will be hosting the 2010 Southern Graphics Council Conference. If you would like to find out more about this exciting opportunity, feel free to email me cperkins at philagrafika.org.

And, it wasn't all theory and talk, as you can see by the images below - there were plenty of dirty hardworking printmakers showing their stuff all over Richmond. Including this fantastic new woodcut by Dennis McNett of a Snow Leopard attack - and these amazing printed bedsheets by the Hancock Brothers.