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.