Woooo... I'm getting to the point of being a bit academia-ed out! It's Thursday evening and I've had 3 days at the conference so far, one day to go. Believe me, I'm not complaining! I'm having a fabulous time and it's been very thought-provoking.
Today's delights included (for me) a stream called Digital Media, Aesthetics and Materiality, which was fascinating. A few years ago when I lived in Bristol I went to Wells Cathedral where someone - can't remember who, unfortunately - had put together an immersive experience in which walking through the cathedral provoked elements of an audio/soundscape. I loved it, as much for what it showed about what could or would become possible as for the experience itself. Troy Innocent (Aus) was talking about generative drawing programs that evolve language through various rules and aesthetic considerations to harden glyphs with ascribed meanings and then imprint them i.e. "use" them in urban art (mainly): "meaning emerges via installation and in relation with the world". Hmm, lots of italics there and nothing directly related to either book arts or printmaking but it was interesting. Troy showed an installation of his work called "Colony" which is a series of laser-cut rough steel posts with various glyphs written on them which pulse and change in response to i-phone apps and the passage of people around them. The second paper was given by Joel Collins and Indae Hwang who talked about their very different projects. Collins has created an immersive environment in which various algorithms respond to or interact with the people in a space, creating light and sound indexed to particular areas of the space. The intention is that occupants learn the immersive environment - without instruction or language - so that they can then manipulate it consciously. Hwang, in contrast, creates machines from wood and mechanisms that look very real, physically present, and tangible compared to the other two's work, but these machines react to the codes we already carry around in our pockets: the magnetic strips on travel cards or student ID cards, for example. I didn't see the machines in action, but it sounded like a lot of fun and I found the idea that we're already carrying those codes around very thought-provoking.
The difficulty and the danger of conference papers is that they can fall very far from your own interests and practice, and today has been a day in which virtually nothing I saw or heard related to either artists' books or printmaking and yet... it has made me think hard about stuff, which is what it's supposed to do, and as a result maybe I will bridge the gap between the subjects I've learned about today and my own print/book arts practice.
I'm not sure what you'd call these: the artist, Dylan Martorell, Hinteridact I and II, "digitally altered screenprints" that are viewed through those old-fashioned viewing glasses that create a 3-D image. You can't see clearly from my photos, which were taken with my phone-camera pressed up against one of the eye-pieces, but they have a tremendous depth which I loved!
One of Petr Herel's beautiful, brilliant, accomplished, disturbing etchings - part of a series related (somehow - not sure how/why) to Jose Luis Borges, which is part of why they interested me.
My notes! I sit there are scribble during the sessions, on this pad of translucent paper which we were given in our conference packs.