Category Archives: Making Without…

Hints and Tips; Trade Secrets of the Improvisation Trade; How-tos of Making Do at Home. Well that’s the idea anyway. Who Knows?

The Accidental Printmaker Challenge: Photographic recordings of printed acts, remnants and repetition.

from instagram courtesy of Paul Laidler

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The Accidental Printmaker Challenge: Photographic recordings of printed acts, remnants and repetition. . As printmakers the creative act is largely undertaken in the print studio. A space with specialist equipment, established procedures, exemplars of process and perhaps expectations of what we mean by printmaking! Nevertheless, beyond the studio and in our daily lives we continually engage in printed performances and repetitive behaviours. One might say our homes and routines are embedded with graphic happenings, acts that leave imprints of our existence as practice. . The Challenge The accidental printmaker is not overly concerned with the conceiving of an idea in print or the proceeding association with mastery of technical process. The dissociation with some disciplinary conventions is not to devalue established practices, but to revaluate printmaking as an expanded practice. This particular expanded view borrows from the ‘readymade’ as a means to nominate the overlooked. Here the disciplinary led ‘nomination’ and repurposing of an artefact should draw our attention to interactions with surface and / or repetitive procedures. In this context the compulsion is to create in the name of print, where the accidental is to make visible the incidental.  Remember, the aim is to re-engage with, or comment on printmaking – so no actual (conventional) ‘printmaking’ please. . Challenge Guidelines This challenge requires you to use photography or film as a means to document the incidental imprint, repetitive act or graphic remnants that exist beyond the studio. The recording of these expanded print practices may include subtle interventions or presentation methods that enhance our ability to see ‘printmaking’ anew. . We will be using Instagram to view (and find) your images. Could you therefore hashtag your post with #accidentalprint as we are intending on ‘regramming’ images through @uwe_maprint It may also be useful to accompany your posted image with the following challenge text, . ‘I am taking part in The Accidental Print Challenge where photographic recordings capture printed acts, remnants and repetition beyond the studio. Challenge hosted by @uwe_maprint ‘

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As printmakers the creative act is largely undertaken in the print studio. A space with specialist equipment, established procedures, exemplars of process and perhaps expectations of what we mean by printmaking! Nevertheless, beyond the studio and in our daily lives we continually engage in printed performances and repetitive behaviours. One might say our homes and routines are embedded with graphic happenings, acts that leave imprints of our existence as practice.
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The Challenge
The accidental printmaker is not overly concerned with the conceiving of an idea in print or the proceeding association with mastery of technical process. The dissociation with some disciplinary conventions is not to devalue established practices, but to revaluate printmaking as an expanded practice. This particular expanded view borrows from the ‘readymade’ as a means to nominate the overlooked. Here the disciplinary led ‘nomination’ and repurposing of an artefact should draw our attention to interactions with surface and / or repetitive procedures. In this context the compulsion is to create in the name of print, where the accidental is to make visible the incidental.  Remember, the aim is to re-engage with, or comment on printmaking – so no actual (conventional) ‘printmaking’ please.
.
Challenge Guidelines
This challenge requires you to use photography or film as a means to document the incidental imprint, repetitive act or graphic remnants that exist beyond the studio. The recording of these expanded print practices may include subtle interventions or presentation methods that enhance our ability to see ‘printmaking’ anew.

First I Made this Book…

and then I altered it

I readily enough committed myself, mentally, to participating when the Call for Work for an exhibition of altered books, committed myself to it before I realised how uneasy I feel about the idea of altering books. Of course, I noted the caution in the Call for Work against the perils of altering a library book, and it is easy enough to extend the warning to include books that belong to other people in general, and always asking a grown-up first. But a book is a book, right? Finding someone’s marginal notes in books upsets me, and pages folded down at the corner, and doodles, and moustaches drawn on to photographs. And hand-done underlinings and paragraphs picked out with highlighter pen, and private detectives in the movies tearing the page out of the telephone directory in the public phone kiosk, just for one lousy number. If it’s wrong, then it’s wrong… Operator? Operator?

When did all this start? 1968, I think, maybe. I have a Rupert Bear Annual from that year in which the name plate at the front has been left blank: this book belongs to… no one; name withheld; no ownership claimed. The ones from 1966 and 1967 are very clear that ‘This Book Belongs To: John R Gillett’ in big, toddlery, black felt-tip, ‘Age 6’ and ‘Age 7’ respectively. It tears me up that I did such a rubbishy, scribbly job of putting my name in these beautifully illustrated books. The books chronicle the adventures of a bear wearing clothes and ingesting hallucinogens; the bear sees stars and floats away to be met by geishas on distant shores, then explores clefts in smooth rocks. And between such episodes, the Magic Painting pages… These are pages of colouring-book style drawings printed in dark brown. You were supposed to brush over them with clean water to activate the unseen colours with which the pages were somehow impregnated. You were supposed to, except that clearly you weren’t. You were meant to leave the book in the pristine condition in which Santa Claus left it, taking care not to crack the spine, and turning each page by gently gripping one of the outer corners, rather than teasing your finger under the spine-end and flipping it, a method guaranteed to leave a crescent-shaped kink in the paper.

In those early books of mine, the Magic Painting has all been done, filled in. The crisp drawings as they were remain tantalisingly visible beneath the blurry, imprecise smudges of colour: an exact and perfect artefact, violated by a nursery experiment, violated by the bear on the beach.

Magic Painting is confusing. Is this my handiwork? Am I the author of these smudges? I applied the water; the brushstrokes are mine. Yet the overall composition, the choice and distribution of the colour that once lurked unseen within the chemistry of the printed page is the work of another. The painting ruins the printed drawing; and the drawing denies the painting any authenticity. Leave the Magic Painting unpainted, and its destiny is unfulfilled, its purpose redundant; yet to paint it is to alter it, is to ruin it.

It is the same for the sketchbook, of course: blank, empty, pristine, unspoilt, but useless and – worse – inhibiting, if not used. Take up your pencil and your courage; step out on the newly fallen snow; plunge into the mist; and alter it; alter it.

For this is always how we make art: by altering something. And perhaps this is always why we make it: in the hope of undoing the damage we have done before; making amends; repairing; making good. Or perhaps in the hope of fixing some damage that has long ago been done to us.

Doreen A. Rios

Doreen is a long-established digital curator. She has run a website, https://anti-materia.org/ for about five years. I recommend you have a browse. A particularly interesting model, especially for these times, is ‘eyecandy’, where she invites international artists to curate inspirational content for her site. 

[Anti]materia emerges from the need of consolidating an informative platform as well as an exhibition space that enfolds the artistic creation based on new media performed by Latin American artists, curators and art promoters.

It proposes the creation of an intersective space for debate, home of an intangible archive which solidifies data for it’s consultation. It also focuses in promoting collaborations with international exponents with the idea of making the platform grow in an holistic way as well as creating links between creators.
The future of [Anti]materia relies on the constant addition of temporary exhibitions as well as the creation of a genealogy of artists, curators and art promoters focused in digital art and new media. All together with constant collaborations with diverse international creators.

This project bets on the easy access to information for future investigations surrounding this topic and its infinite possibilities.

Shared Drive: Excursion Module

This was our improvised lunar landing, 2015

The crew
The Excursion Module under construction
Fitting the space suit
Last-minute preparation
The descent to the surface (Mission Control view)
Inside the Module (Mission Control view)
One giant leap…
First step (Mission Control view)
The lunar walk…
…in low gravity conditions
Mission accomplished

Richard Wentworth

Statement (2007)

[ … ] I grew up in a world held together with string and brown paper and sealing wax, and that’s how it was. I slowly realized that this is the underlying condition of the world, and there’s nothing I like more than when, for example, there’s been a near-disaster at NASA and they say: ‘If it hadn’t been for the chewing gum .. .’ It’s not because I want to fetishize chewing gum or the aesthetics of gum pressed over some break or membrane; it’s because we have the intelligence to think: ‘Hey, there’s a malleable, mastic material and we can use that.’ A large part of our lives is spent using that very edgy bit of our intelligence [ … ]


Richard Wentworth. extract from interview with Kevin Henry in Henry, ‘Parallel Universes: Making Do and Getting By + Thoughtless Acts (Mapping the Quotidian from Two Perspectives), 2007. http://www.core77.com/reactor/03.07 _parallel.asp