During the latter half of the 20th century, in the age of mechanical reproduction, a common preoccupation with the term ‘original print’ was the printmaker’s ability to create exactly repeatable images. In the 21st century, and due to the impact of digital technologies, this emphasis has shifted from the mass production of exactly repeatable images, to the ability for the mass customisation for one.
Today as we work digitally and incorporate numerous computer-aided technologies as a part of our daily workflow our understanding and engagement with images is more often mediated by a screen. Digital technologies and social networks have irrevocably changed and challenged the way we access and share images. However, there is a renewed interest in the hand-made and a return to materials-based practices. This is partially due to increasing access to and better connectivity between computer aided reproduction methods and analogue methods. It is also due to online groups and social platforms that share ideas and projects. It may also be due to the impact of high quality journals and magazines, and as a result of artists’ awareness of the limitations and lack of variety and richness of materials when working with computer fabrication methods.
Parraman, C. (2017, March). 2017 colour by numbers, thinking through making lecture series, Arnolfini, Bristol. Presented at Thinking Through Making Lecture Series