Digital publications and technical innovations: The collaborative print studio in the digital age
Laidler, P. (2012) Digital publications and technical innovations: The collaborative print studio in the digital age. In: Industry and Genius in the Printing Trade , Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham, UK, 4th – 5th September, 2012 .
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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. Artists such as Pablo Picasso and David Hockney utilised this collaborative endeavour, enabling them to create artworks that may not have otherwise existed. These historical precedents have been established through mechanical modes of production and have contributed to defining the roles, expectations, functioning, production, publication, output and artisanship of the collaborative print studio. Over the last 20 years we have seen new digital tools and processes enter the traditional domain of the collaborative print studio. These developments, have to some degree, brought in to question the role of the traditional print studio in the digital age. For example, we may consider a shift from manual dexterity to automated systems or the ubiquitous nature of digital resources and their impact upon previous associations with specialist tools and facilities. Since 1999, the Centre for Fine Print Research has explored the crossovers between art and industry by investigating new technologies and developing artist led methods in digital technologies such as inkjet, 3D printing and laser cutting. Moreover, it has been as a result of the Centre’s insights and innovations that have attracted artists such as Pop Artist Richard Hamilton (1922 - 2011) who regularly returned to work with research staff, to produce a number of digitally mediated prints. Today the CFPR operates within a unique area of the print publishing art market where it's activities offer insights into the shifting perspectives of the collaborative digital studio. Conference programme: http://www.typographichub.org/diary/entry/industry-and-genius-in-the-printing-trade/