Assignment 2: Twins Separated at Birth

Graphics Revolution: Assignment #2
Twins Separated at Birth: A Highbrow/Lowbrow/Unibrow Adventure

Create a piece that has two components, one of which would be considered "fine" art and the other of which you can make multiples of and could be considered more of a low-brow part that serves as a document, souvenir, wearable, street art piece or animated version of the first piece (t-shirt, record cover, post-card, comic, animation, etc.). Take advantage of technology to do this! You should be able to disseminate the second piece and you should have a plan to do so- either physically or by the magic of The Internets.

Examples: An etching becomes an oversized Xerox wheatpaste (Dirty Printmakers of America), a print gets cut into pieces and turned into a stop-motion (Nathan Melz), a Flash animation drawing is laser-cut into wood and printed on shirts (Jenny Schmid), a print is turned into a packaged product and an infomercial (Tim Krause), Artists screenprint live and create an on-site installation (Midwest Pressed)

Take risks, learn something new and put it to use!
Transfer/reuse/reconfigure imagery in inventive ways
Think conceptually about the relationship of the two pieces and be able to talk about it!
Make multiples and distribute them (can be digital multiple)
One of the pieces should be physical/object based

Laser cutter, vinyl cutter, Illustrator live trace, stop motion & animation techniques

Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson (Midwest Pressed), Piotr Szyhalski, Carlos Amorales, Enrique Chagoya, Drive By Press, Beauvais Lyons, Biafra Inc., Ben Brockman, Bittercomix, Sue Coe, Tromarama, Philagraphika, etc.

9.25.12. Critique, binding discussion, flipping of the books,
9.27.12. Slide talk and examples, bring 3 possible ideas to class with thumbnail sketches
MAW meeting/workshop
Assignment: Reading: Drucker, Johanna. "Violating Protocols." Working States, 2008
Download here

10.2.12. Reading discussion, Stencils in print, Live trace demo and visit to laser cutter, vinyl cutter
10.4.12. Work day- Jenny in Seattle

10.9.12. Stop motion and live-draw introduction
10.11.12. Work day, Piotr Szyhalski printing
7:00 Piotr Szyhalski lecture- be there!

10.16.12. Possible project due date, critique
10.18.12 Dissemination of 2nd part (without any trouble with The Law)

Note: the next project will involve more animation/performance/installation with visiting artists Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson (Midwest Pressed) and a MAW projection event the week of the 25th, weather permitting.


Vinyl resource:

Drop-down menu "Cutting Vinyls" has multiple options which should all be viable for our use.

reading response:

I think it’s interesting to think about these ways of how printmaking can be discussed in terms of the intangible virtual internet world, where versions of the image can become transformed in their meaning by how they’re used in that environment. It makes me think about my process for the flip book of drawing, then that drawing becoming a positive, then printing from that positive to make a sequential print. What occurs to me is that I did not make the print, scan that, and turn it into an animated gif, but rather I used the already digitized precursor of my print to build the animated gif. I chose this because the imagery was already there in my computer, waiting for me. Would my animated gif have been more “authentic” as an item of printmaking had I used my actual print? I didn’t think of this until after I read the article and also looked at the animated etching (by Daniel Michael Clark) posted on our blog. As I look at that again right now, I’m seeing that it’s an animation appearing to use the etching plates themselves rather than the actual prints. This is essentially how I created my animation (from the positive), only it is not easily detectable because mine looked less “printmaking-y”.

To take a look at Drucker’s question posed near the beginning of the article in relation to creating animation based on some printmaking process: How does our model of what art is change through printmaking’s engagement with digital media?, I gather the following. When one can tell that a digital artifact comes from a printmaking process, it changes how one views it both production-wise and conceptually. When traces of (by hand) printmaking are less detectable, that look of a particular production process can be lost pushing the question of its origins into more art realms.

Response to “Violating Protocols” Reading

The author of “Violating Protocols,” Johanna Drucker, argues that the method of sharing and producing art is less important, as long as there is an important message around the work and there can be “vital critical discourse” about it. If the print is printed ‘traditionally,’ why is that? What was gained by printing it by hand that could not have been done digitally? It is these questions that the viewers are supposed to have in hand as we view and discuss artworks.

The author references Brad Freeman, who talks about how art is “brain-made.” She says that “the conception values of fine art distinguish it from mere product.” This is how the books he creates go from being merely books, to being works of art as a whole. It isn’t just the art on the pages, the art work is the entire book as a whole. Some of his books are printed digitally, some use offset printing, some of the images are even computer generated, but it is the concept behind it that makes it art, as long as the method can convey the initial concept of the art properly.
-Bailey Haack

Author Joanna Drucker agues that “Thinking in terms of multi-platform methods of distribution makes sense in the current media environment.” I think it is interesting to think of this idea in terms of the internet. The opportunity for art to viewed by many has been expanded by the internet; however, because of the massive amount of information available to us on the web an artist must do more to engage their audience. The more forms of production they use and distribute the more likely their art will be seen and result in critical discourse, especially if they distribute their art in both digital and tactile productions. Kerry James Marshall (mentioned in Drucker’s article) who is known for his painting and sculptures collaborated with an apparel company Flux Collection to do a t-shirt collection (Wikipedia). His work can be viewed by many on the web and is made available to purchase for relatively low cost by the production of t-shirts. By branching off in to a new means of art production and distribution he was able to reach more people and thus expand the discussion surrounding his work.

Hello Group-
Here is my response to "Violating Protocols" by Johanna Drucker:

One of the most memorable quotes from this reading I thought was how "the biggest challenge is to always make the use of the aesthetic property of a medium" and that was a statement to prove a point that no medium is inherently better than others. I completely agree with this point and I think a lot of people probably do in this day in age; however it is interesting to think about how certain mediums were sought after in the past like painting in the 1800's. But now someone can create a piece out of garbage and it can be "better" art then something made from expensive materials. I think this whole idea of the meshing of technology (computer aided art) and traditional art extenuates this point. I think it is interesting how a computer itself is thought of as a type of medium. Perhaps it shouldn't be thought of as a single type of medium since a computer can do just as much as a human and you can work in several mediums using a single computer. I also feel like art has always been a very physical thing for most artists. I looked up the artist Felix Gonzales Torres and it is obvious that he changed the idea of what art is greatly. Like how he created these works that hung in the middle of rooms and acted as walls all by themselves, in one he used strings of lightbulbs. It was a new idea, art that didn't hang on a wall, or wasn’t all connected together as a single piece. I think art is due for another leap, and it is exciting to think about what the realms of electronic art can be. I watched a TED talk video last night about at artist/ engineer named Golan Levin who is focused on meshing the worlds of art and technology some of his works are delightful! I would recommend looking him up on you tube or Netflix (TED talks artistry and illumination episode 11).

Reading Response
Violation Protocols by Johanna Drucker

Johanna Drucker’s article Violating Protocols prods us to consider how changes digital hybridization of printmaking has influenced art. Specifically she explores the production conception, distribution, notion of agency and the discourse of why it matters. Drucker suggests protocols are made and changed by a few great artists who set the bar for their medium. In Printmaking her list spans Goya to Alfredo Jarr. Both articulated disaster and pushed the protocols of their medium beyond the status quo.
It is interesting to compare the two artists. Goya’s subversive bold truth telling on paper is evoked in Jarr’s fearless confrontation of disaster in his contemporary installations using digital media. Jarr’s ability to use digital multiples in his massive installations pushes both the agency of his ideas and their production in meaning. This comparison demonstrates the shift Drucker is pointing to in our conceptual models of what printmaking is transforming to: a digitally fluid world, which changes our notion of what art protocols are in printmaking.

I enjoyed Drucker’s discourse on changing definitions of art as technology changes and becomes more advanced. The way Goya put his art out there, for example, was very different from the ways we are able to disseminate art today. In the digital age, as Drucker points out, we have overcome the point of questioning the legitimacy of digital media, and embraced these techniques alongside traditional artmaking channels. This has made a hybrid sort of artistic process, where traditional and digital art intermixes and goes through countless state changes before transforming into its final form.

Drucker poses several questions to the field of printmaking in an increasingly virtual world; her main question is, what is print and why? Digital media affects print both conceptually and materially, and the influence of digital aesthetic is inescapable in the grander context of contemporary art. I'm very interested in the work of Felix Gonzales-Torres and was glad to see him defined as a printmaker in this article because he is a somewhat unconventional version of a printmaker. In particular, his interactive installations which feature either a pile of candy or stack of posters are free for the viewer to take home, referencing print's history as a democratic medium while still existing in a gallery setting. The stacks and piles are endlessly replenished, resulting in an unlimited edition size. These concepts of valuelessness and unlimitedness absolutely come back again in conversations on digital art. Drucker says, "What we think a print is changes across circumstances and also according to the use we conceive print as serving." Although our previous purpose of printmaking has changed in the digital revolution, it has arguably made printmaking even more essential in its role simply as art that is reproducible in some way, tangibly or intangibly. After all, reproducibility seems to be the backbone of digital art and the Internet (i.e. remix culture, reblogging, etc.).

Violating Protocols is, as stated in Johanna Drucker’s summary, a completely appropriate title for this discussion of digital art-making and its meaning for the art world today. Drucker is correct in saying the discussion of whether digitally produced and distributed art is legitimate needs to end. “Meta-technological” tools are the new voice of artists. In order for Art to move forward, there needs to be disruption of new ideas and practices. Otherwise, as Drucker says, “If a work is only interesting as a print, then it will remain within the parameters of existing models, no matter how beautiful, grand, adventurous, or engaging it may be.” Without disruption and innovation, Art becomes stagnant and loses its ability to convey concepts, ideas and emotions in a new light. Everything then becomes a photocopy of the work of the “celebrities.” Raymond Pettibon is somewhat the poster-child for this idea of disruption. He helped make Art punk-rock. He took the grotesque, bold look of the punk lifestyle and helped bring it to the art world. He wasn’t only designing and drawing the album covers and logos for Black Flag, Sonic Youth, and Mike Watt. He was bringing punk to the high-brow scene. He disrupted the norm and helped move the idea of “What is Art?” forward, rather than letting it lay static. This is exactly what is happening now with digital media. Printmakers, painters, photographers, sculptors, etc. are finally beginning to embrace what was once the abhorred act of digital art-making, because (again as Drucker so eloquently states), “However a work is made, whether it is crafted by hand, fabricated by machine, defined in an ephemeral event based or conceptual apparatus, a work of art is, to quote artist Brad Freeman, brain-made. The conception values of fine art distinguish it from mere product.”

One of the things that strikes me about Drucker's essay is the parallel that can be drawn between digital media's effect on traditional printmaking and its effect on the corporate music industry. Drucker's point that conceptualization is the way forward, that the idea transcends its own product, is a point that the music industry ignored at its own peril, and near demise. Musicians are now starting to realize that they need to recontextualize the idea of selling music, away from the purchase of a simple product (LP, CD, mp3) that the buyer passively consumes, to the more conceptual idea of financially supporting the creation of the music itself. More musicians seem to be supplementing the distribution of their music with elaborate packaging, increasingly varied merchandise and a reemphasis on the live performance, creating a model more akin to the days of Arts patronage, with a smaller more loyal fanbase providing financial support. Printmaking too needs to broaden its scope to remain vital in an age of infinite, effortless reproduction. The artificial scarcity used to drive the art market is largely irrelevant to the general public. Why pay inflated prices for simple imagery when you could download a high-res copy of the image, plaster it as your desktop wallpaper or print out a reasonable copy of your home printer? Raymond Pettibon’s work is an interesting counter-example of this, as the flyers for punk shows he made in the early 80s now fetch 4-figure sums on the Art market, the humble photocopy elevated to High Art. Today’s lowbrow populist culture becomes tomorrow’s protocol.

silly me, forgetting to post this to you all.

Dear all-
Please participate in this project thing I'm doing.
All you have to do is go to the following website, choose one of the wallpapers, download it, and tile it as your desktop wallpaper.
Then take some sort of screen shot with it in the background and send it to me! (no matter if there's other stuff on your desktop. as long as some of it is visible)
go here:
email to:


Hey y'all! Please go check out the fat venus project! I'd appreciate your participation :)


Hello Gang-
Here is the link to my "respect your ride" animation GIF

Here is the link to the short movie:
Pls leave something on the blog so is not empty and scary! thanks. Mary

Here is the link to the tumblr for my project!

Check out the Pinkie Promise Project!

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