Saturday, December 23, 2017

vi171222 Pressing issue: Printmaking VR 

It is the future and I have lived into it. As a boy I read about the future, saw pictures of what was to be, and most of it was science fiction. Much of it still is still to be realized—into infinity, I suppose. My boy’s imagination may have been smaller or greater than the multifaceted reality which has turned out to be, but I didn’t write it down when I was a boy, so I don’t know for sure.
In a day or so I will have lived all of 76 years, so the end of my story is nigh, as they say. Yet I am fortunate to have learned some ways to use the devices of this future that were the stuff of fiction sixty years ago. In living those years I narrowed my focus to the arts in many forms—crafts and design and the so-called fine arts. At some point I got stuck with the notion of learning for its own sake.
It seemed like a good idea. I figured that when all the industries of mankind had been figured out, education would continue to be the key to continuance of the human species.
Now is the time to take stock, for the end is nigh (as they say) because my resources are dwindling and the Earth’s ability to sustain humanity is dwindling, too. Scientists predicted twenty-five years ago that humanity will be done for by 2022 unless we made dramatic changes.
But humanity—or effective parts of humanity—didn’t heed the scientists’ warning.
In my years of teaching, research, production and service, my accumulation of stock is considerable. That is, my stock is capable of being considered as having value. I learned from an attorney who specializes in the legal aspects of art valuation that back story is a consideration in valuation of art. The same is true of intellectual capital.
Therefore, if I have achieved anything in my years, then my achievements, although puny in the larger scale of things, may be subjected to the same rules as those of any artist or intellectual. I consider myself a creative artist and creative intellectual, therefore it is timely to take stock, creatively.
Taking stock also means concurrently liquidating stock. Our family collection is our stock. Marketing is more than standing by the roadside, as I have written before, with boxes of apples hoping someone will stop and buy. You must go from your fruit stand and put up signs, giving your customers a chance to think and slow down and stop to buy.
Sales comes next, price point, benefits and continuing customer service.
What presses on my mind—364 days into my 76th year—is the untried notion of converting our family’s collection into scripophily. Creating the VR PrintmakingWorld is the forefront of all my good intentions. Our collection are like the signs leading up to the sale of shares in my next (perhaps my last) adventure, leading to the sale of the fruits of my labor.
It occurs to me that Carl Chew could design the artistscrip certificate border, his art adding considerably to its value. He has perhaps the most ability of anyone for this task as he knows me perhaps better than anyone outside my family. In fact, he knows me as a cohort in the arts and education, which is more than I can say for my family because I understand that my family members have their own unique lives.
My problem is that Carl told me many years ago that I lack nerve. He may be right. A few days ago he took me to lunch and I didn’t have the nerve to bring up the subject of scripophily. Well, I think I remember that I once did, but nothing about scripophily seemed to interest him at that time. Unlike me, as an artist, he is already disposing of his work the easy way—by giving it away for free or recycling it.
True, I am using the landfill-image as my last resort to provide for my family—posting an advertisement for rubbish removal on the wall of our gallery as the “emergency number” to call if I die with a gallery full of art. Into the dumpster it goes in order that my survivors can rent or sell the space as commercial real estate.
But there is a better way! It is the stuff both of science fiction and the stuff of fantasy, a kind of science fiction that few artists have attempted; because conventional, less creative artists have had little or no interest in education and are oblivious to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Warning to Humanity of 1992 which had a profound effect on my actions for the past quarter-century.
Tomorrow is my birthday, a good time to seal my plan for the next five years: Produce scripophily of the kind that is consistent with my artistic philosophy and principled intentions. Emeralda Works, my “games for the gifts of life” (as I call it) will focus on one project, the hybrid method for teaching printmaking online with virtual reality being its distinctive feature.

The business plan entails using my established patron base to determine and test the market value of teaching printmaking VR, and then use my artworks as the stock basis to proceed with prototypes, test the idea as a minimal viable product to share printmaking experiences with people worldwide.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

171206 Me gusta una prensa para imprimir  

In Duolingo, I learn a little Spanish. I like to stimulate my brain with tiny shots of dopamine when I get something correct. I like the surprise when I surmise correctly the meaning of a Spanish word. I like being able to go to Google Translate to double-check my guess as to how to say a phrase, such as “Me gusta una prensa para imprimir.”
I like the press for printmaking, so I would like to enjoy looking at it in VR, but I would want to look at it for a surprising detail, such as finding an Easter egg in it. I would like to have a press to hold and find, in its structure somewhere, like Pokemon Go, a surprise, a ghost of a famous printmaker. I would like to find a different story in various parts of the press, a journey perhaps, such as a VR visit to Rembrandtshus if I had a miniature of the press he used.
Of course, I built a miniature Rembrandt’s Press, a toy, designed for printing cards. Thirty people bought them—several in foreign countries: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, England, Italy and Germany. The press won an award in an Italian design competition.
I would like to have a deck of cards. I would like to print on the press and then register it on Proximates and find “friends” (if not friends, then PrintMates) I never knew I had.
Out of these connections—when I hit fifty such PrintMates I would like a collection of postcards, like the ones of Native American carvings on the new Halfwood Press we are calling the Canoe.
Just as I found a “friend” with whom to talk about printmaking in the context of major real estate development, housing, tourism and international trade—focusing for the moment on virtual reality (as her son is working in this field), I would like to find more friends like her.
I am grateful for the friends I have.
For example, a PrintMate in Chile will write about how her little etching press I sent to her on permanent loan is useful in her efforts to teach children. Another woman in Colombia also wants to, and she wants a press (or possibly a Google Cardboard) to make this work. In both cases it presents me with meaning to learn Spanish—one of my long-held wishes—and cultivate friendships in South America.

But I want to do more. So much more.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

171202 Printmaking World branded 

 Looking back in time, at 76 and with 50 of those years giving time to printmaking I live in two worlds—the past and the future. At the moment I am using what is in-between the two. As a philosopher said, neither that, nor this, but in between. It is a state of suspension.
That is to say, suspenseful. What fun! Like going to a movie, or hearing a story, or dipping in a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get next.
For example, “Will I write something now of importance?”
Or, “If I put this on the Internet via my blog, will anyone read it?”
One of my favorite movies is "Planet of the Apes," from the beginning my career as a printmaker and professor in earnest. Many are the reasons—the scenes I used in my prints and the computer graphics that came from it—I remember it.
One is the scene and dialog when the spaceship captain gives the order to send one last signal to Earth, “. . . in case they find us!”
So it is when I tap out my “signal” to Earth . . . in case someone reads this, gets it, and finds me.
Like those survivors from the spaceship crash, about to search for means of survival on what those survivors of the spaceship crash thought was an alien planet, I live between two worlds—the past and the present.
The past of printmaking was when all that mattered was a supply of materials and a few tools to make prints, for fun and, sometimes, for showing and selling.
The future is unknown, like a good story to tell—a printmaking world no longer tethered to supplies and tools but, like one’s imagination, free to fall on whatever pathway is open.
The future of printmaking is to be seen in a multifaceted lens—some viewpoints showing this, others showing that, all aspects of printmaking through a variegated lens. History, technique, value as well as the people and places where the art, craft and design of printmaking is now, was, and will be.

In my printmaking world—my brand—anything is possible, like a story unfolding, like a movie being made, having been made, and will be made. As movies and leading edge technologies are all descendants of one ancestor, printing, so they are concomitant in one that is at front: Virtual reality and augmented reality.