He has no doubt that the starship has traveled to the past, as bullets are no longer used on Earth in the 2150s.

Art On Trash Diorama Amber Detail Thumb

I have been working on preparing my prints on cardboard series for an upcoming installation.  Mostly this involves fabricating lots of box frames out of hardwood flooring planks, but I also started thinking about ways to transform a few of the pieces into small dioramas. It’s been fun to think of ways for the art to interact with stuff.

In general I’m interested in exploring the possibilities of the limited edition in printmaking.  Traditionally, printmakers (and often sculptors) generate a limited edition of anywhere from two to a few thousand identical prints, typically in one session,  designating each piece with a serial number and then destroying the master plate so that no more prints can be struck.

To me this is one of the most compelling aspects of printing in the age of mechanical reproduction.  The edition draws attention to a separation  between the expressive and technical components of  art making  that is unique to printmaking.  Printers spend most of their time pulling prints, which usually feels like an entirely different thing than being creative.  The inspiration diverges from the perspiration–they can be entirely different  activities.

Part and parcel to the workmanlike aspect of manufacturing prints is the intriguing burden that technology places on the contemporary printmaker:  in an era when  reproducing  multiples of anything is  frivolously  easy,  the  art maker is compelled to not only  generate  multiples by hand–the art maker needs an interesting enough reason for  multiples  to exist.

With that said, here are two of my  frivolous  ideas for transform a few of my multiples into playful dioramas.  I think the installation will feature 14 regular prints and 4 or 5 different altered prints.

1. Three Cones print cast in amber. Embedded with prehistoric bugs, the surface is hopelessly glossy so the photos suck.

2. SF Botanical Garden print with dino. I found this plastic toy on a walk a few years back.  It seemed strange that it was unpainted, maybe some kind of prototype?  My best guess of the species is Suchomimus or perchance Baryonyx.  Joe Pisch, can you confirm?  Anyway, this is a rare case in which hoarding weird shit I find on the beach paid off.


  1. Rachel

    Ok, I love that you are deviating from the traditional notion of limited edition. I like things that challenge tradition.

    The amber is great. Are these actual bugs? That could be interesting/creepy in a very Jackson “I am putting my own pee in this painting” Pollack kind of way. Except not quite that gross.

    And the dinosaur! Yes.

    Not frivolous, my friend.

  2. jon

    Thanks! I am glad your first reaction is positive–I am also trying to do something here that would engage kids. Yeah, the bugs are real, but weren’t harmed in the making. Just disgraced.

  3. feather2pixels » A data model by a Yale professor.
    feather2pixels » A data model by a Yale professor.09-09-2012

    […] addition, I let myself go with an idea for completely transforming a few of these into mini dioramas, which was fun.  I cast one of them in prehistoric amber (a.k.a. casting resin) with embedded […]

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