Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Developing a personal visual language with standardized blocks (printing)

Teaching printmaking (relief) this semester, I assigned two major projects in the first half of the semester.  The first was a series of skills-building exercises designed to familiarize the students with the tools.  But, instead of tedious drills, I asked them to develop their own personal visual language through trial and error.  The second was an essay about visual communication and the impact that movable type had on the expansion of human communication and thought.  I asked them to place it in historical context and consider the larger world view that we have today. 

The two prints displayed above and below this text are made with 3" x 3" blocks.  Some of the blocks were cut in class during tool demonstrations.  Some blocks were made at home for larger series that I have been developing (and some were just for that simple reason that making images is fun).

Below is the first group print from class.  It contains every block made in the first two weeks (by every person who was present that day).  The work is underdeveloped but showed signs of experimentation, which demonstrated learning within those first couple of weeks.  I had inserted some of my blocks to round out the print, but must mention that I decided to participate in this project as a sign of solidarity with the students. 

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