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  Saturday 19th
Twelve Photographic/Graphic

Bower Ashton Viewing Room
11:30am - 1:30pm

Chair Dr. Paul Thirkell

David Morrish
A Photographic/Graphic Process

Kristoffer Albrecht
Changes in the Practice of Photographic Printing

Anne Hammond
The Etching Revival and the Photogravure: A Graphic aesthetic for Photography

Jan Pettersson
Photogravure: an Archaeological research

Edward Dimsdale
Beside, Betwixt, Beyond: Pleasure and anxiety, pitfall and potential, in inter-medial collaboration
  Ten years ago, at the inaugural IMPACT conference in Bristol, one of the prevailing issues underlying many of its presentations, demonstrations and discussions concerned the creation of prints with what - in hindsight - could be described as a ‘heightened visual syntax’. At the time, digital imaging (arguably one of the prime catalysts for this new aesthetic), had reached the point where it promised much in virtual terms, but frequently fell short of expectations in its transformation to hardcopy. This was especially true when comparing the output quality of prevailing digital printing technologies of the time with the quality previously associated with fine print and photography. From this, and in many cases, in order to fulfil, or even bypass the implied potential of digital technology, it was evident in 1999 that some artist /printmakers were developing their own bespoke solutions to the problem. In many cases, this was achieved by revisiting reviving and hybridising lost 19th century techniques such as photogravure, platinum printing, gum printing and collotype, with new materials and methods to achieve new levels of image veracity and quality through print.

Soon after IMPACT, at the beginning of the new millennium, major manufacturers of digital printing technology began to address some of the shortfalls of that had begun to be highlighted by the fine art market through creating archivally enhanced inks and artist quality papers that could be used in conjunction with the next generation of digital printers.  From this point digital printing has steadily become a fully-fledged artists medium and because of its expansive capabilities in simulating and encompassing many of the traditional graphic and photographic processes, it currently serves to both broaden the reach of artist print production and dominate the print market.

With these issues in mind the Photographic/Graphic panel will examine whether the current grab bag of digital imaging capabilities and presets available to, and largely accepted without question by broad range of artists, have fulfilled the many challenges of imaging making implicit to the realm of the graphic and photographic, or whether there is more to the issue than currently meets the eye.

Two panel members David Morrish and Jan Pettersson have recently published books on photogravure and will each provide their own particular rationale for its use and significance in the context of this digitally dominated era. Dr Anne Hammond will interrogate through her paper ‘the etching revival and the photogravure’ the origins of a graphic aesthetic for photography whilst Kristoffer Albrecht , like Hammond, will look to the past to examine, through the work of photographers such as Paul Strand, how the foundation of a photograph may be discovered in its physical being. Albrecht will speculate on how new tools may be used with the same kind of vision and sensibility as the old ones. Finally Edward Dimsdale will look at interdisciplinary practice in art, examining the performative aspects of photographic and print practice in order to formulate new ways of conceptualizing matters fundamental to each respective medium. Through each of these presentations and the issues they raise we hope to promote critical debate about the present state of the digitally influenced photographic and graphic aesthetic.