Thursdays 9:05-12:05 Regis W257 jrschmid@umn.edu
Office hour Tues. 12:00-1:00 or by appointment E277

With the digital age and web communication tools in full force, one might think that the printed image, and in particular the hand-printed image, might be a bygone artifact. But print culture and hand-printing are experiencing a renaissance, with the younger generation also embracing this medium as an art form to publicize events, make their own 'zines and support their favorite rock bands. Many in the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) culture have even found ways to make a living off of hand printed materials. Although once considered to be a threat to hand printing, computer technology has served to support this medium by functioning as both a layout tool for designers and a networking tool for artists and business people.

By situating recent cultural phenomena (the rise of hand-printing and the community that surrounds it) within the critical history of capitalism, craft and technology, this course seeks to answer the question of how the graphics revolution (including comics, 'zines, rock posters, collectives and networks) has come to be in Minneapolis, the U.S. and the world. This course seeks to connect the culture of contemporary DIY print culture with theory.

This is a relatively recent and unexplored topic and we will research first hand through making, reading and site visits. We will visit local screenprint studios, talk to artists in collectives and look for evidence of the graphics revolution in our community. Students are expected to be engaged, give critical feedback, ask questions and do their research. We embrace the idea that the maker and the critic are not separate and each student is asked to contribute according to their skills and interests.

Near midterm will be taught how to hand screenprint in the printmaking facilities. We will be assigned a small screen and you will be expected to use the studio with respect, as this is a busy and crowded facility. The class will produce and publish a final 'zine which can include comics, posters, writing, etc. This will be a limited edition, with everyone in the class receiving a copy, one for the U administration (who provided some funding for this) some for sale and possibly some to put in library archives.

We will explore ideas of technology and anti-technology, capitalism and craft, collectives and their recent re-emergence, and the community of printmakers. Keep an open mind as we blur the boundaries between high-brow theory and low-brow culture! By ignoring these categories, we will collectively explore new territory frequently ignored by academia. Much of our research will also be around the culture of DIY culture and hand-printing as a way to contextualize this phenomenon.

Our source material will include interviews with artists, post-modern theory readings, comics, visual sources on the web and in books, films, archives and gallery exhibits. We have some limited funds to pay artists to meet with us. Each student will be asked to do a short research paper and contribute to the making and distribution of our final collective publication.

Readings will be online while some comics and visual materials will be on reserve at the library. Please treat these materials with respect (many from my own collection!) and

Students are expected to:
25% Contribute writing to our blog each week, due by Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.
One paragraph on reading assigned (in relation to class activities, if relevant)
One paragraph response to another person's comments
These should be thoughtful responses with correct spelling, grammar, etc.

25% Complete a short (3 to 5 page) paper at mid-term on an artist or collective in relation to the reading we have done in class.

20% Participate actively in class and outside of class! by asking questions of the artists, discussing reading, visiting events and openings and engaging actively in critical inquiry. This class is all about being active in the world and depends heavily on your enthusiasm!

30 % Contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our 'zine