On my visual art:
The human species is the only lifeform that can thrive on assumptions, in large numbers, through time and space.
It provides us the capability to make disastrous mistakes but also to
hope, dreams and make and enjoy music.
My visual work shows both sides of the mechanisms and what it can generate.
On black,white and grey:
It is the yes,no and maybe.
We remember, we see ,we feel,we proceed.
Do you still hear the whistle?The singing?
On Noise,chaos and hiss:
We are not able to see, hear and feel sufficiently.
On Totalities, world:
Paper is with our mind, the tinnest ,lightest, most durable carrier of thoughts.Paper is with our mind,the lightest and thinnest shield, border or wrap for our thoughts.
“ Are we able to wrinkle and fold our thoughts?”
Identifying loops and
When and how far do we take part in them?
The Droste effect (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdrɔstə]), known in art as mise en abyme, is the effect of a picture recursivelyappearing within itself, in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear.
The effect is named for a Dutch brand of cocoa, with an image designed by Jan Misset in 1904. It has since been used in the packaging of a variety of products. The effect was anticipated in medieval works of art such as Giotto's Stefaneschi Triptych of 1320.
The effect is named after the image on the tins and boxes of Droste cocoa powder, one of the main Dutch brands, which displayed a nurse carrying a serving tray with a cup of hot chocolate and a box with the same image, designed by Jan Misset. This image, introduced in 1904, and maintained for decades with slight variations from 1912 by artists including Adolphe Mouron, became a household notion. Reportedly, poet and columnist Nico Scheepmaker introduced wider usage of the term in the late 1970s.
The appearance is recursive: the smaller version contains an even smaller version of the picture, and so on. Only in theory could this go on forever, as fractals do; practically, it continues only as long as the resolution of the picture allows, which is relatively short, since each iteration geometrically reduces the picture's size.
In medieval art
The Droste effect was anticipated by Giotto in 1320, in his Stefaneschi Triptych. The polyptych altarpiece portrays in its center panel Cardinal Giacomo Gaetani Stefaneschi offering the triptych itself to St. Peter. There are also several examples from medieval times of books featuring images containing the book itself or window panels in churches depicting miniature copies of the window panel itself.
In the art of M. C. Escher
The Dutch artist M. C. Escher made use of the Droste effect in his 1956 lithograph Print Gallery, which depicts a gallery containing a print which depicts the gallery, each time both reduced and rotated, but with a void at the centre of the image. The work has attracted the attention of mathematicians including Bart de Smit and Hendrik Lenstra. They devised a method of filling in the artwork's central void in an additional application of the Droste effect by successively rotating and shrinking an image of the artwork.
In modern usage
Droste effect by image manipulation(using GIMP)
The Droste effect was used in the packaging of Land O'Lakes butter, which features a Native American woman holding a package of butter with a picture of herself. Morton Salt similarly makes use of the effect. The cover of the 1969 vinyl album Ummagumma by Pink Floyd shows the band members sitting in various places, with a picture on the wall showing the same scene, but the order of the band members rotated. The logo of The Laughing Cow cheese spreadbrand pictures a cow with earrings. On closer inspection, these are seen to be images of the circular cheese spread package, each bearing the image of the laughing cow. The Droste effect is a theme in Russell Hoban's children's novel, The Mouse and His Child, appearing in the form of a label on a can of "Bonzo Dog Food" which depicts itself.
A critical acclaim on the present graphic practice , more specifically, how it appears in printmaking, in the fine-arts and in workshops, academies and artmanifestations.
I write this from the viewpoint of visual artist and my function as technical assistant at the Graphic department at Artez, Academy of the Arts, Arnhem, the Netherlands.
I really must emphasise here, that I absolutely don,t want to reject any of the technical and artistic achievementsacquired so far in this field.
And one can completely enjoy the beauty of an etching, lithography, any print, anything.
I want to research a new line of working , which is, or at least embodies, the essence of that very graphic practice. We have to think about the future of graphics/printmaking, hence the title of this text. And maybe allow ourselves, to think about a practice resulting in something entirely different than a print on paper, or work with presses, ink etc.And regain something of its original, activist function.
The original function of printing was a distributional and activist one; music,opinions, religion. Music,art could be multiplied in a mechanical way and spread for information, activism and entertainment.
Start of the( mass) media.
A bit later, for the artists it was a way to distribute their work and make cheaper representations of larger works. By revolutionary developments in the graphic industry and science, Grapic Design went its own way, forming connections in every imaginable domain of society, ultimately leading to the Mass Media.
Artists in the fine-arts field kept on producing printed work. Of course there were the incidental cross-overs and experiments.But the workmethod is aimed to produce more or less single prints and with that artistic/aesthetic criteria on that oneway linearity.
The whole process is in service of the Print.
Printmaking, the graphic practice sticks to that last point and in many cases more extreme: It became a kind of sport in which the quality of the practice is only a technical one.Sometimes even, I detect quite puritan and at times suffocating tendencies.
Whatever the technique, whatever the approach, in the end there,s the Print, framed or not , on the wall. , standing still, doing nothing.
While in the graphic process we have everything at hand to prolong the process and to have more extensions reaching out far beyond the single Print.
If we would allow ourselves to think and work more on a Meta level in every step of the graphic process, we could widen our practice and vision; students acquire more competences, artist become more activist.
The remarkable thing is , that Graphic Design,developed in contrast to fine art printmaking in a way that is way more challenging; there is no field in society or technique imaginable that is not affected and/or incorporated by Graphic Design.
A new stance:
The Graphic Practice is about producing versions of an idea (by means of technique) with the possibility (!!) of duplications.
The old explanation is: Art or knowledge, duplicated by printing techniques.
Of course the element of printing,I mean by pressure, is outdated.
Since in the situation of the internet, printing digitally, various light-printing , photography, conceptual art , there is no actual “printing pressure” involved.
It is more about leaving a trace or impression in any form.
With this new stance we can broaden our horizon and work with new parameters, see later
The graphic practice contains the three cyclic philosophical questions:
-Where do we come from
-Where are we
-Where are we heading to
if we return to the traditional line of working for a moment, I can illustrate this with a blockprint or monotype process:
1.Idea,print form (origin)
2.the print,result (being)
3.future, consequences (assumption,planning,refection)
In this field every step is metaphorical for decision-making of man.
If we add some more psychology we could say that in psychological self-reflection in which short periods are made subject to research.
In the graphic process this reflection reaches through the whole creative line of work, by physical means.
If we , in the present situation work on let,s say, a blockprint, we take step “1” and “2”, not step “3”. Step 1 and 2 are just repeated and maybe step 3 is taken in a kind of diluted form between 1 and 2, only serving an end result. The full potential of the process is not deployed.
We should challenge ourselves to research a kind of de-printing .In any case a form in which the process itself takes an active role in the end result.
The process,possibly (!) resulting in a sequence, can almost be obtained and serve as physical “”proof” of an exploring and curious mind. By techniques and their coincidences, new possibilities and insights come up, that can be applied on any medium.Exactly this attitude is highly needed for the fine-artist and student, throughout all disciplines, scientific and philosophical domains.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Of course there are numerous fascinating things happening in the graphic field:
-Last year , I worked with a student, who worked on a musical notation-method
for improvised music. She produced large series of monotypes with patterns, spots
and “print incidents”, that looked already musical in itself. Repetition, altering, sampling were elements that formed a coherent, yet ever changing line of patterns. She worked highly concentrated. By that, all her actions formed a coherent, almost already musical whole.
The prints itself , a huge amount of sheets and strings, was mounted on the floor and chairs of the classroom where the music students would play from her work. After some exploration they could indeed play with it . After this session she adjusted
bits here and there and returned for new sessions. We see here clearly an open, interdisciplinary approach, with no narrowended result.
-Some years ago,, a group of students of Artez,Arnhem organized the event “three spaces”:
|One large hall , littered with all kinds of (artists)materials but also trash, construction materials and musical instruments. This was space one. the second space was the internet , in the form of the chatroom Chatroulette.
The third space was a room where the audience could witness the whole via beamed projection and possibly interact with the two rooms. The students worked and communicated in the first room , while given directions from the chatroom. Needless to say that the start of the whole was quite chaotic, but after a while all parties got into it and one thing led to another. without any use of press , paper or ink we say working principles like imitation, sampling and altering during the work.
-Another student(from graphic design) started a performance installation and stated:
“I, ……….. ,plan to do a 50 hours performance piece.
I shall make 100 mono-type posters, spread over 20 sessions.
I shall only use black ink,one size of paper and give each poster a number.
Missed sessions mean blank posters.during these sessions,
I will not tekst nor phone,or in any other way be in contact with the outside world.
The performance starts on oktober 1st,12p.m. and ends november 22th,4p.m.”
She started in a strict, isolated printing drill and for every session she applied a new parameter or obstacle. the end-result was an impressive, hundred-plus prints -presentation that really felt like a new language.
-Nina Schultz (de) .Her monumental installation/performances contain graphic elements like prints made on the spot and printing mechanisms and presses.
-Artist books, since ages, of course. I must distinguish here the kind of books with a kind of catalogue character from books that are an extention from the artists’ work. The latter produced in every imaginable form, edition and technique.
-Zine culture: Zine-collector and initiator or the Zine Depo (a massive collection of international zines) Marc van Elburg (nl), defines this as follows:zines are not about graphic art but its content CAN be, zines are not books , but its appearance CAN be.
Zines are physical hubs to domains of the political, sexual, musical, lifestyle, studentgroups,initiatives. A meetingplace on paper and the agreement of all participants to do so.
-John duncan (usa) x erwin van looveren at Frans Masereelcentrum (be) 21-02-19
,graphic principles in noise, performance and image.
-The internet: Of course the internet fits my description of graphic practice. Very special in this case is, that , within that domain, the physical difference between source, original and copy, is dissolved.
-Meme-culture , within the internet , the meme and unsun trends and culture are very interesting; memes, images of any kind that direct in a very associative way to an event, community or trend or activism outside that image. Unsun is a more creative and associative twist of bloopers images.
THE ESCAPE PLAN:
Here I name some graphic discliplines that we know and some possibilities to broaden the activity, this as a step up towards “the exercises”:
Woodprint\ linoprint:Painting,performance, collage, installation, books,zineculture.
Silkscreen:Collage,photography,painting,performance,conceptional, internet, memes and zines.
Analoque photography\diverse lightprinting techniques:Performance,animation,installation, sound, conceptional.
Advanced technology has nothing to do in this story!
True innovation will not be found in technology in this case. We have to be gamechangers and not be confused by trendy terms like experiment,tech- innovation or just wildly make cross-overs.We can deploy any technique, in any combination , but keep in mind that we have to change the game to be truely innovative!
The new parameters must be:
Some exercises, knowledge and mastering the techniques are required.
It is not possible to fold any paper more than 6 times. Reason is that the thickness increases exponentially in such a way that it is impossible.
It,s not possible make a print of prints more than 6 times with blockprint or monotype. The image will vanish. Reason is that there is not enough ink left to leave a trace or stick to the original.
Man cannot handle more than 6 cognitive tasks at the same time, more means overload .
When using a copymachine, every copied image is the same ,info and image both don,t wear. Only thing that happens is that the paper and ink-supply decreases and the amount of paper at the output tray increases.
Think out a process of working with wearing, exhaustion and residual effects.
Print two or some more, primitive but catchy figures, with whatever medium on paper. Mount them separately on walls but in each other’s vicinity, wait for reaction, or series to happen.
Print , communal space,archetypes.
When analized, etching has a 3D-aspect; grooves are made in metal. One way or another, the grooves are filled with ink and plucked out by the paper after pressure.
On the finished etch, we see the ink lying on the surface of the paper. And of course we always see the imprint of the etchingplate in the paper. If we cut up an etching we can freely make collages from it because the language of the material always fits right.
-Think out a way to explore other 3D-aspects of etching.
LEAVE AN IMPRESSION:
Think out a way to put the graphic process into performance. With every aspect of it translated in physical body-action and memory.
Print an edition.
Print from prints, photocopy, sample and make loops.
Work with theme “FEEDBACK” , what come out, goes back in again.
Study the Droste-Effect.
Question yourself whether and if in how far you are part in this. Study how to position oneself in this. The looping is a fact in itself. Materialistic at first but where does it dissolve and does it become theoretical..?
Think out a two-print, graphic set-up, in both prints are figures that look like each other,like in a mirror but positioned in such a way , or have such proportions that they are unique.
Think of producing an artist book. Challenge every aspect of the given “Book”. Work on : Time, edition, form, sequence, theme,message, distrubution.