Collaborative digital and wide format printing: Methods and considerations for the artist and master printer.
PhD, University of the West of England.
This thesis investigates the collaborative production of fine art digital prints for artists,a process which is used by many contemporary practitioners including Richard
Hamilton and Damien Hirst. Digital print as a fine art process has emerged over the last twenty years, and as yet, there is no in depth evidence on the collaborative endeavour and production process which is central to the digital Master Printer’s role.
The investigation first establishes the historical context and significance of the Master and Printer in traditional printmaking, and the more recent development of the digital print studio and the digital print pioneers of the 1990s. A series of seven artists’ case studies in the context of the collaborative digital print studio are then offered to demonstrate the working process. The analysis of these proposes a best practice model for Master Printers working with contemporary artists to produce high quality, fine art, wide format inkjet digital prints.
The study also compares production methods at the cutting-edge digital facility of the Rijksakademie in The Netherlands, to assess the validity of the practices proposed through a facility closest to the study’s research base at the CFPR’s digital studio. The comparative study also explored the expanding digital production process and the role of the Master Printer. Evolving production processes are also considered in this study as a response to the advancement of digital print technology alongside a practical exploration of what actually constitutes a digital print in this rapidly expanding field of fine art printmaking.
This study aims to reveal the inner workings of the digital collaborative process between the artist and Master Printer, and appraise the digital Master Printer’s role.
It offers a set of best practice methods for the digital Master Printer developed from this research. The study also considers how the digital print, and the digital print studio may evolve in line with current and future developments in new technologies.
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