Tuesday, November 13, 2018


os181112 Hayter’s book for a back story 

Having collected in the time of three days – November 9-12 – numerous responses to my Hayter Game concept, it’s time to take the next step toward making the game part of STEM to make STREAMS – Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Math and Sharing.
STREAMS is augmented STEM – the process of bringing arts and sciences closer to ensure the humanities are part of STEM. Printmaking is a sure way to achieve this augmentation because printmaking is the ancestor of all the STEM elements. Without printing, there would be no civilization.
For better or worse, printing has brought about the world as we know it. Young people today require knowledge of innovation and printmakers who have both STEM and arts (poetry, literature, visual arts, music, etc.) can work with STEM leaders and students through sharing their innovations in platemaking, printmaking and history of printing arts and technologies.
I am encouraging people to add to the mix, and to make this effort part of printmakers and STEM leaders’ experiments and experiences I propose gamifying printmaking, games that teach and games that harmonize printmaking, reading and sharing with STEM.
Games often have a back story. One idea for printmaking games is to write back stories that celebrate the pioneers of printmaking as a fine art form (Rembrandt, Durer, Picasso, Hayter, etc.) may be based on back stories. Other back stories might focus on the heroes of STEM history.
One way to get back stories going is take the steps to collect stories and vignettes. It is tempting to launch myself into the task of inventing a game on my own, but as I am myself a student of STREAMS, the S at the end requires that I Share the task.
Three days ago, I posted a photo of Hayter with the following challenge:
The Hayter Game: Sounds like “hater” but spelled Hayter. To play, printmakers and STEM educators tell what Hayter means to them. Anyone want to play? As one said in the movie, "Blind Date," to win you must invent the game!
Part way through I noticed several people referred to Hayter’s book, New Ways of Gravure whereupon I went to my bookshelf and took down mine - the 1966 edition. It was a birthday gift from my wife on my 28th birthday in 1969. She knew – ever since my graduation in 1966 – that I wanted this book.


Now I am offering to “pass it forward,” give it away as a prize to someone or a school library. As I’m now 76, disseminating my library seems like a good idea. My book for a Hayter back story!
Will people play? Will people send me a back story on Hayter? Will someone come up with a game concept for student-aged (and grown-ups) people that connects prints, printmaking and printmakers to the basic STEM concept? Will this extend STEM to be STREAMS?
If enough people respond with back story ideas and/or printmaking games-that-teach concepts, I will give someone the book plus a signed impression from my family’s remaining impressions of an intaglio commemorative print I made for the Seattle Print Fair in 2007.
A game MIGHT result based on backstories that come out of this process. The Hayter Game might be one of numerous printmaking games. In other words, there might be a Rembrandt Game, a Picasso Game, and so on that all involve elements of printmaking that can be woven into a STREAMS program.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


ri181017 If I had a laser cutter

There is a great deal more to learn about the laser cutter and 3D printer that are important to teaching printmaking online, and I cannot learn and practice these alone. It will take up to a dozen people to make it happen, and these people would expect a guaranteed return on the investment of their time and money.
I have the space. I have the time. What I lack is a team.
In today’s economy, the entertainment value would have to be included, because the experience economy and creative economy have made it so.
However, if such a team did come forward with a commitment, what I would do is make the STEAMR Trunk a reality, a teacher-in-a-box.
With the laser engraver/cutter I would re-design the Wee Woodie Rembrandt press, so it could be made with lighter-weight wood and paper combinations.
With the 3D printer I would first print one of the plastic presses designed in Germany and begin re-designing the appearance.
Third, I would combine the properties of the two – certain parts for the laser device and others for the printing device, as appropriate. This strategy might yield a mixed-media result, presses of different materials.
Concurrently I would be designing the curriculum on a story-based plan, augmented by the space/time network I call Proximates to encourage international exchange among students of as many nations as could be served.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


ps181016 An Indian blog to remember 

I would like to go beyond the boundaries of traditional printmaking and explore more possibilities.” These are the words of Dimple B. Shah, an artist living and working in Bangalore, India. Her essay on the Top Printmaking blog was good reading for me because she captured a point about printmaking most people haven’t experienced.
Printmaking is partly a performance art. Ms. Shah knows this, and her essay brings this into focus. I sent a friend request on her Facebook page and she responded in 3 seconds! Eight-thousand miles away from Seattle, she is near enough to a computer or mobile device, which makes it possible to send a signal of recognition and appreciation.
Her essay shows she has experienced firsthand examples of what troubles human kind worldwide. The increasing pressure of over-population and inadequate resources, the political crimes leading to inequity among people and between genders and other situations which may lead to the extinction of our species.
Still she works on large-scale prints and elaborate performances. Thanks to her skills with technology, now I know about her and I have a friend – at least of the Facebook type – to think about and who gives me hope. Her wisdom and putting her action into print and forms of new, communicable technologies shines through and gives me hope.
“I would like to go beyond the boundaries of traditional printmaking and explore more possibilities,” she put in her words. I like this, but I wonder, how can I help? I am aware that traditional printmaking means the type of printmaking she has access to, and in the last five years she has added multimedia to her work.
By use of digital and video camera systems linked to the Internet, she is going beyond traditional printmaking already, either consciously or intuitively adopting art forms beyond traditional printmaking. I want to add to this a missing factor, and that is to reach back to the youth in the world. Where many young people are playing online games and other kinds of game-playing, they are missing out on printmaking.
That is because of the mentors and artists in printmaking are looking backward at the hero image of the artist. Traditional printmaking is the outcome of painters who “hijacked” technology to meet their economic needs. To make a living at painting, printmaking comes to their aid, and there it stops.
Painters I have known in positions of influence and power in institutionalized art courses tend to cut printmaking from its root, like cutting down a fruit tree to harvest the fruit instead of letting the tree grow and provide fruit season to season.
The fruits of print come from long ago. The impulse by human beings to impress their hand on the stone walls of caves and overhanging cliffs is the beginning of the use of a template to express something human, as simple as, “I was here” or “This way of making an image is easy and fun.”
It is template-use, a faster and easier and more universally-accessible way to express something. It was trivial compared to the arduous and demanding painting of a creature or symbol, but it remains as the root of all subsequent technologies because it solved the problem of high-demanding painting and drawing.
Printmaking is the root of the algorithm, simply put, a method to solve a problem. Mathematicians have elaborated on the problem-solving nature of math to yield the digital applications which have become the tools of human beings all over the world, enabling human welfare and human destruction concurrently.
Now I have completed my thought but for on remaining thing. In Bangalore it is thirteen hours later than here in Seattle, where it is 6:45 AM, Pacific Daylight time – or 0645 by the 24-hour clock. Where Ms. Shah is, Bangalore, is somewhere about 12.58 North, 77.34 East in the Global Positioning System.
From this distance we have date-stamped the beginning of the Facebook definition of “friends” at least, a mere stroke or two of a finger on a mobile screen or desktop mouse. If my idea of Proximates had been true by now, my entry of my moment number would have triggered a similar keystroke-effect and if I were printing this early in the morning, and printing, and if Ms. Shah also entered the moment number and image of her print, we would be Proximates.
By means of the TOP PRINTMAKING page it has served a similar purpose only less connected, I think, than if our meeting had been by the chance occurrence of printing at the same time but in different places. The effect is the same, however we are equally privileged to have already learned printmaking, whereas the young people of the earth can only watch.
Ms. Shah’s hopes, her message, and her work is important, and she is doing a service by telling about it in words and pictures. I think for her hopes to be realized they must reach the young people as soon as possible, and the way to go beyond the boundaries of traditional printmaking and exploring more possibilities,” is in this direction.
This will be realized by joining with programmers – the same programmers who make video games and applications like Facebook – to make Proximates a reality.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


es181012 Cornered  

Short-term thinking results when one is forced into a corner. Instant behavior, reflex action is demanded at the expense of everything long-term. That’s no way for a sentient being to behave, and not for me.
Fifty years ago, scientists were expressing long-term effects of environmental change.
Likewise, seventy-three years ago, scientists expressed concern over the bombing of Japan compared to a demonstration of the power of the atomic bomb.
It is not for a nation that is in a corner to consider long-term effects of one’s action to day – October 12, 2018. Such a nation is at the mercy of another nation or a coalition which spends entire days at whole-hearted work on long-term effects.
Now that some Facebook awareness of the proximity of what has been predicted for fifty years is coming about, the measures to be taken seem closer at hand. In scientific fact, it is not fifty years. It is now.
Where are artists in this? So far, I have not found any artists who are not busy working on their next art show or contract, or who are blindsided by political shenanigans. In fact, many so-called artists are slavishly designing more problems – not working on solutions at all.
As for me, I am thinking of the people in STEM programs with hopes that my “artistic” ideas may be used to help get the young ready for helping solve the problems facing all of us.
What can I do?
Long-term, it would be to divert the money that that is going toward destruction to the aim of the Second Great American Reconstruction era.
How can I do this?
It will not be a linear process. I think it will be a concomitant process, a circular, nonlinear process where the artist, the art, and the making of art are concurrent. For the long term, it is the children who must be in the forefront of solutions.
Art is good for children, but only if it is in the form of concurrent science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics and reading all happening at the same time.
That’s why I design presses and methodology for young people, their parents, and teachers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


vp181010 Reversing art in the 21st Century 

I received notice of an event in January 2019, from the MIT Enterprise Forum – Northwest. This is a group I’ve followed for over twenty years – ever since I began working with Carl Chew on our ArtStudent project. ArtStudent was supposed to be “everything an art student needs” on a CD/ROM platform.
Tom Lopez, who was hired by Microsoft to design their CD/ROM publications when Microsoft Press was still active, introduced me to the MIT Enterprise Forum. He was trying to help me with our project, I think. His wife, Margaret Jacobi, introduced me to Tom when she saw my students’ project, a laser video disc, displayed in an artist’s book show at Carolyn Staley’s gallery.
When I saw today’s calendar for January and read they were going to have a presentation, I smiled at their wording describing the event:

“The rise of the digital economy has taken the art world by storm. Even the sacred cow of visual arts, dramatic arts, and music are being infiltrated by the disruptive nature of technologies. How far will these disruptions extend and what sort of disruptions will they be in the next 20 years?”

In my mind clicked the response, “You got that backward!”
It was art that rose out of the limitations of the hand made via printing that gave rise to the digital economy. Art took the technology world by storm; human innovation found its voice through art and re-shaped human kind in its own image. Now people are the puppets of artists, craftsmen and designers. People go around their lives benumbed by the artists’ designs, songs, movies, games and news – every form of mediation made possible by artistic use of technology.
The sacred cow is not visual art and the rest – the sacred cow is technology. MIT Enterprise Forum authors got it wrong.

Saturday, October 6, 2018


ps181006 Illusion of freedom and calculation  


Jacques Ellul’s words are translated as: “. . . technique enslaves people, while proffering them the mere illusion of freedom, all the while tyrannically conforming them to the demands of the technological society with its complex of artificial operational objectives.”
This declaration comes after his considerable explanation of the difference between technique and technology. I read it with interest, as in my mind is my hope to be a great teacher in the domain of my expertise, printmaking.
I’ve written that printmaking is the ancestor of all technology. I’m bound to understand Ellul’s perspective. After all, it was he who advised, “Think globally, act locally.” I’m conscious that everything he said, and others’ lives he touched (I’m thinking of a friend in Hungary who is a multimedia artist, soon to visit me again) has come to me by technique/technology.
Ellul is correct in observing, “Like cancer in a living organism, the systematization of technique pervades every cell of our modern technical and technological society.”
I wonder, thinking to the opening scenes in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” if that cancer was set in motion by the accidental notice of the ape smashing a bone pile with another bone. What happened in the brain of that simian creature was the rubbing together, as it were, of the two halves of a coffee-bean-sized part of the fleshy brain known as the nucleus accumbens.
This little piece of the brain (or mind) may be responsible for the creative process of which humans are so fond of thinking separates our species from other animals. Ellul says it may be our undoing, and concomitantly, the undoing of much of Earth’s sustainability of life forms like ours.
In my nucleus accumbens, I cling to hope that if I read Ellul and other people who came before me and demonstrated their way of “smashing a pile of bones” I might help in Earth’s human and other life forms’ sustainability. Maybe if I read Ellul, his words will help me with skills to turn my creativity to help other people who have the same hope and desires.
It is, I believe, the illusion of calculation at work in the minds of men and women – and children, too. This illusion has its counterpart in the invention of the illusion of 3D space on a flat plane, with equally important long-range effects on Earth’s human life and all life-forms’ sustainability. By the illusion of calculation – gaming probability, in other words – humans may use technology to restore what technique has deconstructed or use it to destroy man’s propensity toward destroying life as we knew it.

Friday, October 5, 2018


os181005 Kicking the art habit 

It’s one of life's luxuries to be habituated to the arts that are designed to disengage people from a society of responsibility to Earth’s human and other life forms’ sustainability.
I have the icky feeling most of the art world people I’ve been associated with for fifty years behave like those alien duplicators in The Body Snatchers.
The duplicates live only five years and cannot sexually reproduce; consequently, if unstopped, they will quickly turn Earth into a dead planet and move on to the next world. One of the duplicate invaders claims this is what humans do — use up resources, wipe out indigenous populations, and destroy ecosystems in the name of survival.” (Wikipedia)
When the United States becomes a nation populated by indifferent people glued to their mobile devices, walking zombie-like past homeless people and dumb to the corrupted government, I think it’s a nation terrified people whose minds have been snatched away. They look away.
My old associates, with few exceptions, carry on their middle-class lives as if they are blessed with royal status, needing nothing but attendance to their next light show or arty party. Their responses to the world’s other nations chagrin over the USA government policy and its increasing friendliness to the enemies of freedom are not as important as their kitty videos, fashion and foibles.
It’s the hardest thing, at my age of 76, to kick the old tired habits of responding to, for example, an invitation to a home art show by a couple of my former students. All that is promising about the image represented is its darkness, which suggests they may be awareness on this artist’s part of the times we’re living in.
Yet, he is indifferent to me, one of his former teachers. I have moved on, but he – like most of the art students of the past century - never left school. They are a reflection of what happened to the institution in the 1980’s – freeze-dried in place and bound by the conventions of the past.
There would be no continuing education and no future for intellectual, liberal arts and scientific exchanges. None of those so-called art professionals would be required to keep up with the times like so many engineers and scientists whose credibility depends on global networks of peer reviews.
Their select status and approval by the rich and politically powerful would maintain for them a comfortable, even luxurious lifestyle. They would never need to support or even talk to an independent researcher and producer like me. They only keep my name on their computer database.
My independence in the old days at the UW helped them with their own unique approach to success in the art world, but when I continued to explore the relation of the arts to science, technology, engineering, math and reading, they dropped me the same as the college banned me from teaching. I am no longer useful to them.
This relationship is mutual. I am grateful because – as it has always been - I continue to learn. Continuous learning, lifetime learning, includes learning from the proof of success and of failure of artists to be part of efforts toward work for Earth’s human and other life sustainability.
Seeing their failure, I will continue a course that is unlike my former students’ – not use up resources, wipe out indigenous populations, and destroy ecosystems in the name of survival – so I will not attend any more art events. Only STEAMR matters now.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


180923 Living into the future 

We’re 76. My wife and I find ourselves thinking and saying out loud, “We’ve lived into the future.” Strolling through the Seattle Center, for example. In the forenoon before a rock concert, a nearly naked teenage girl, her body painted silver, is strolling, too. She and her friends are excited because one of their rock stars, Lady Gaga, is performing tonight.
“We’ve lived into the future,” we say. When we were that age, to walk almost naked and painted silver would have led to arrest and life in an institution for the insane. Parents of such a girl would be grief-stricken and her life would be derailed. Not today. This is the future, and we are living in it.
We are grateful, but just a little disturbed. Why is it that forty or fifty years ago to walk mostly naked and painted was insane but today it’s okay?
On another day it’s crowded again but this time it’s not a rock concert at the Key Arena. The crowd noticeably high number of non-white Asians. One of them is coming our way, beaming and smiling while a knot of people crowds around him to get his autograph.  He’s a star, but not a rock star. He’s a gamer, part of a team competing in Dota 2.
We learn Dota 2 has prize money in the millions of dollars. To win one-million dollars by destroying your opponents may be average. I’m not sure because I haven’t studied the numbers in depth; I’m too old and indifferent to the subject. This is the future. It’s not my business.
What is my business is to ask, in a region that has a company like Valve – a main driver in the video gaming world and sponsor of Dota 2 – why not have an International Print Center Incubator?
It’s because printmaking is not only hard to do, it’s slow. There’s no climatic moment, a day when a participant can take off all her clothes, paint herself silver, apply pasties and a G-string and walk through the Seattle Center. There’s no way an adoring crowd of people will crowd around a printmaker to get a souvenir or autograph.
I am part of a population of slow-moving old people in the USA, a country that – according to estimates in the headlines – may be on the verge of bankruptcy. Yet money flows like a river through e-sports tournaments like Dota 2 and for rock concerts.
Daily I challenge myself to answer the question. Today I am reading The Ponzi Factor, by Tan Liu. He writes about the stock market, how it’s a world disconnected from the reality that was investment financing. The stock market, in his book, sounds like a parallel universe like my imaginary place, Emeralda.
Money is not attached to reality. The flow of dollars to buy Dota 2 software from Valve – expressed in US dollars – is real enough. Winners of Dota 2 tournaments can truly purchase a new Ferrari or better – maybe a mansion in a paradisiacal country or whatever they fancy. It’s real money – so far.
What about the 7-year old named Conrad, son of a couple who bought one of my Mini Etching Presses? At his school, is there an etching press like his mom and dad’s? While his friends are talking about Pokémon Go, if he pipes up and tells about his first drypoint, what will they say?
Can Conrad’s teacher relate the calculation of a roller on a Mini Etching Press – its mass, weight and circumference? Can STREAM enter the day’s work in Conrad’s classroom?
My wife and I lived into the future, but we are not part of the times it appears – not as much as a tiny number of individuals – such as Conrad’s kids’ number in the USA (about 28 million kids 4-11 years old).
I leave this essay now, it’s time to go to our gallery and pick up where I left off reading my 2013 book, Press Ghost Investor as I parallel Liu’s book with mine. It’s another story, my way of figuring out what to do.

Friday, September 21, 2018


180921 Why read the Ponzi Factor?


My paperback book, The Ponzi Factor came yesterday. It’s about investment profits. The subtitle is The Simple Truth About Investment Profits. How I learned about the book, I am not sure. It was probably on my Facebook page. It piqued my interest because I’m working on an investment scheme for the International Print Center Incubators, and one of the people I mentioned it to said it sounded like Ponzi Scheme.
Ponzi sold fake stock. Tan Liu says all stock that does not give the shareholder a vote, does not pay a dividend, and has no intrinsic cash value does not fit the classic definition of shares in a company. Instead of paying shareholders a piece of company profits in the form of dividends, shareholders can profit only by selling their shares at a price higher than they paid.
Which is okay. If the value of the shares goes down, of course the investor loses when they sell. When they sell at a loss, they realize their loss.
I make art, but I have never profited by it. I made a salary teaching art classes. Occasionally I still get income from instructing people on how to make prints, a type of art form. I never feel like I’m teaching art. How can anyone teach the ineffable?
Teaching art, or about art, is a different topic. My sense is that the aesthetics associated with the word art are more a matter of brain science than a field called art that’s dominated by people who reject science, technology, engineering and math in their daily lives except to benefit from scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
This, too, is a different topic. However, printmaking is my thing and it is because it is the interface of STEM and Art. I like STEAM, therefore, in the efforts of educators to correct educational policies for young people. I like STREAM, too, the efforts to put Reading in the mix.
The Ponzi Factor is part of this interest of mine. I read Tan Lui with interest in learning how I can use an artistic creation I call artistscrip to finance the International Print Center Incubators. I think I can combine the art I made over fifty-four years’ time as scrip to put money into working capital for IPCI.
If someone remarks that my scheme reminds them of the Ponzi Scheme, then I study the Ponzi Scheme like I never studied it before. Tan Lui says the whole stock market is a one big Ponzi Scheme because it is not based on products and shares of profits coming from sales of products.
The closest I came to marry the aesthetics of creation of mine to a balance of product and the art experience is the Halfwood line of etching presses. People bought it for both reasons – its aesthetic merits and its potential to produce the owners’ prints. To the people who bought the press, it looked like a hammer looks to a carpenter.
The press is a potent thing. It has potential. Like a fresh battery, if a person puts it into a device, the device works on the energy of the battery.
Artistscrip must be the batter to make IPCI go. [I noticed a typo – the “y” was not on the word, “battery” so it was funny because, yes, a batter has the potential to make a go of it!]

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


180919 Shot in the arm

Yesterday my wife and I got our flu shot in the arm. This morning I got a “shot in the arm” when I found an entrepreneur kit on the STEAM group Facebook page. For years I have been scanning the Internet for these kinds of metaphors – products and services to bring attention to STEAM (and STREAM) education initiatives.
My offering is a unique one where art is brought into STEM by printmaking. I made a DIY etching press to be part of a kit for teachers and home-schoolers. Printmaking is not only an art and craft, it’s the ancestor of all technologies and therefore it’s suitable for STEM, STEAM and STREAM. All these depend on printing from the beginning of recorded history.
It is printing as much as painting that we find human records on the walls of caves and overhanging cliff walls.
Now, thanks to my miniaturized, functional presses and online instructions by thousands of printmakers, anyone can learn how to make plates and print them. My DIY Kit has been tested and proved effective, but only in a limited way.
When I saw the “entrepreneur kit” on the STEAM Facebook page, it was a shot in the arm in an otherwise sleepy morning for me.
The idea behind this kit is that the teacher or team of teachers can buy the $350 kit and have the kids work out the figures for a fund-raising project. They’ll end up going door-to-door or standing in front of grocery stores selling lip balm.
Why not prints they made, suitable for framing or greeting cards?
I wonder where the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math come in? Not as sexy as robotics I suppose; and lacking in competition like hackathons and such – but worth thinking about.
I think this is a better idea because the world doesn’t need 300 flavored lip balms. Personally, I think the product is dumb and blinders the kids. It even misleads kids into thinking, “I need lip balm” and “I need it flavored.”
Now I am looking forward to re-working this advertisement and substituting the Mini Etching Press and its features to suit my offering.
This is just one of the concepts intended for the International Print Center Incubators. Can I find the entrepreneurs for the top?

Thursday, September 13, 2018


1800913 Bridging performance and printmaking


“Show me the separation between two cultures and let me build a bridge across it.” This is what I heard from Eboo Patel on a PBS interview. He said he saw the importance of interfaith education coming to the fore, and he wanted to be part of the next chapter in the 21st Century. He started hundreds of chapters in his college interfaith organizations on US college campuses. He said college campus are the treasures of the country and extremely important to world peace.
I also want to be part of the next chapter, and I also want to work for world peace. That’s why I stretched my experience when I was a college professor. I wasn’t in the religious field, however the arts have a kinship with religion. It takes faith and devotion to pursue an art career. So, too, with teaching art. I didn’t teach people to be artistic, however. I offered my insights into what art is in the application of printmaking – a technology.
Across my computer screen today I see a message from a performance art organization: The Seattle Theater Group (STG). This organization is seeking, “young ambassadors to work with our major theaters.” They are seeking young people who are interested in the “arts industry jobs.”
I think my work is directed to the same age group, but it is the “printmaking arts industry.” Understanding printmaking as an “industry” goes further than printmaking has has gone before, that is, as an adjunct to painting and drawing. As an industry, similarly as theater has taken in an industrial component, printmaking has taken a performance aspect.
From the world of performing arts, in this case, theater, STG has a lesson for me. They are an organization which encompasses the major theaters, the venues that provide a range of jobs for people who love theater, theatrics and theater-goers.
When I was a professor of printmaking, my vision of printmaking as part visual art and part performance art was rejected at the UW, unfortunately. That I offered to teach ways that technology enters printmaking was rejected, too. Finally, I was rejected because I exerted pressure to change things.
Yet, today I’m part of the next chapter, as Eboo Patel described his place in interfaith understanding. I, too, want to build a bridge, and I want to do this in a way that’s appropriate to our region – the Pacific Northwest. That is why I work on the International Print Center and Incubators. That is why I adopted a technology platform and engineering principles such as concomitant engineer – imagining a center in place before the actual thing exists.

Saturday, September 8, 2018


180908 What is artistscrip? 

 Artist + scrip, the joining of an artist’s will to produce scrip. Artistic will initiates making, the same will which initiates a painting, sculpture or pottery-making. Where there is a will, there is a way an artist, crafts person or designer will make something. Where there is a will, there may be an invention, discovery, creation or imagined product or process.
This human propensity to explore and make things is not only artistic, as the science, technology, literature, engineering and mathematics are also initiated by similar will or inspiration. My invention (if that what it is) came when I face two challenges:
One, finance the development of an International Print Center and Incubators - IPCI?
Two, dispose of sixty years’ accumulation of works in arts, crafts and design?
The first – financing – amounts to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. The second amounts to a thousand or two thousand physical pieces.
Artistscrip is preceded by several kinds of artistic creations: artistamps, artist’s cards, and artist’s books. All three are variants of government and commercial enterprise: postage, games, and a blend of literature and craft. All three contribute to the invention of artistscrip.
Artistscrip borrows from those metaphors, but finds its validation in scripophily, the hobby of collecting stock certificates for their intrinsic design and novelty but not of their value as ownership in companies.
Artistscrip borrows its meaning from another financing method: crowd funding. Crowdfunding has become popular in the past twenty years as an alternative to stock offerings and big money backing. Thanks to the Internet, artists can raise money for projects by casting a wide net to get money in small amounts adding up to what he or she needs.
Financing the development of the International Print Center and Incubators can be achieved by crowdfunding. But what about the second challenge – emptying our gallery of thousands of art objects?
By declaring each object to be a certificate like a share in IPCI, each object is given scrip form. By prompting the same responses that make scripophily a popular pursuit, artistscrip becomes more attractive, even, than the work of art itself!
Valuation of works of art is a complicated process, and valuation of my works of art is not possible because I have not striven to make my art collectible in the commercial and collecting community. By choice I did not make art to participate in the conventions of art galleries, showings and collecting.
Those works that sold did so simply on their visual appeal. The most recent sale – a ceramic – sold for $150. The one before that, $90. The one before that, about six months ago, $3,750. Valuation by conventional means, however, is still impossible because the professional valuator charges hundreds per hour for her work, not to mention attorney’s fees associated with dispensation of artists’ family inheritance.
Entering the conventions of the issues arising from over-production of artworks is a swamp of quicksand and in it is usually advisable to destroy the works or give all away (if any depository can be found).
Artistscrip is the happy joining of a purpose – IPCI – and a means to the end. One might call artistscrip a “work of art” in and of itself insofar it results from a creative mind, a solution to a problem. There is no International Print Center & Incubators in Seattle – that is the problem. The solution is to develop it with artistscrip whose basis is my lifetime’s work.
My lifetime’s work has been both in making works of art, craft and design, and in striving for a center printmaking, prints, and printmakers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


mr180903 My own jobs act 


Robert Grudin wrote about the ideal trio working on a project: “Ideally, a bold and lavishly imaginative individual should begin a project; a methodical and tireless individual, who stands in awe of his partner’s brilliance but is affectionately critical of his excesses and lapses, should be in charge of the middle; and a third individual, patient, elegant and scrupulous, deeply impressed by his colleagues’ joint achievement but aware that it will fail without his serene overview and inspired refinements, should complete the work. Even more ideally, these three should be one and the same person.”
I am like that one person who tries to be all three, and it’s because I am a traditional inventor, using all the tricks known to invention. Fortunately, I have turned to using both traditional tools and technology.
Now I can put this inventiveness to good use – and what better purpose than to create jobs for people who want to work on and in the International Print Center and Incubators? For weeks I have been working on an invention to finance IPCI I call artistscrip. It’s a method for marketing and selling the contents of our family art gallery.
For example, I am about to design a brass plaque, a component of an artistscrip example. I imagine a person trained to make these brass plaques – the same kind of brass plaque one finds on trophies and in art museums. One might question this – after all, in this age of mechanization, it would be cheaper to have them made by a company.
However, at IPCI we create jobs, even though it’s true that we could cut costs by sending out for the product. The making of the brass plaque is like a printmaking process, and that’s why we do it in house. We train a person to make these plaques, and in the next hour we might train the person to print plates made by the same process I call silitransfer etching, a kind of kitchen printmaking.
The key to the success of IPCI is that the incubators are based on scalability, because only if the startup can be scaled up will it create enough jobs to have a positive impact on many peoples’ lives.
Compare, for example, the job I’m creating (etching 1,000 brass name plates by hand) can be scaled up. I’ve proven the process is interesting and eye-catching. At the time a reader sees this essay, 91,000 people watched my Youtube video on the subject, https://youtu.be/6srRiTfAUqE and ten percent received “likes.”
I viewed another startup in Seattle pitching for investments. The business is a pottery-making studio. This is a friendly community pot shop which needs funds for some purpose – perhaps operating costs. It is not scalable. It would be scalable if the entrepreneur could demonstrate they want to develop a franchise to facilitate thousands of pot shops like theirs. I see problems with it, however. For one thing, it’s not EarthSafe by my definition because the shop consumes a lot of electricity to fire the ceramics, and energy is a number one concern globally.
Participants in her startup have no opportunity to recoup the expense of their work – they pay as they go. A tiny minority may become professional potters; however, they will face the same problems all potters face in marketing and sales and their living expenses. They will have wasted their time. The pottery was not conceived as a scalable nor extensible project. It benefited only the pot shop owner. In a way, the pot shop is like the printmaking shop, but the printmaking shop is scalable because it addresses consumers’ needs and wants in more reasonable ways.
Compared to etching brass plates by hand, my members will be participating in a community with potential for steady employment as the artistscrip concept is adopted by thousands of artists and their communities of supporters. They work in a milieu of other startups connected to printmaking. The technique for brass plates is the same as the technique for making “badges” for halfwood presses, games, toys and more. The milieu includes creative makers in new technologies, such as 3D printing, computer graphics, web design, etc. The International Print Center & Incubators is itself an extended, scaled entity rooted in printmaking and branching into other markets.
I have my models to work from – an aging artist with an inventory of works on paper “suitable for framing and hanging” but with only the artistscrip (not the real artwork itself) to be consumed by an already saturated market for original art.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


es180902 Labor making 

If not for labor, what is IPCI good for? 


Artistscrip is intended to be money-making by labor-making. Today is Labor Day, and I am laboring over the subject of inventing artistscrip. I started this task a long time ago and recently I made progress in its design. I need help – like the farmer in his field with too much hoeing to accomplish. I will never be able to do it alone.
Until someone comes along who shares my interest in developing the International Print Center and Incubators, I will labor alone. I’m not complaining. It’s good work and someone has to do it. When someone comes along who can “hoe” like me, then they can invest time in learning how to make artistscrip work the way it’s intended.
There are a great many “weeds” to rout out. The first and most stubborn is cynicism, reluctance to open the mind to this new idea. Such is the bane of inventors, the nay-sayers, the nemeses who are in plenty. In the arts, this is particularly common because the arts are a common part of consumer habits of thinking.
Thus, to put an artwork on a sheet as artistscrip immediately links the conventions around consumer art to a different world – a world where there is no International Print Center and Incubators. Seattle is this place. In other cities there are print centers, and consumers know this. In fact, most consumers and print producers will point to several in Seattle as “centers.”
The word “incubators” is foreign to most artists, or, if the word is used it is used in connection with business and technology (or hatching chicks!). There has been only one instance of an incubator in the arts, and it was almost forty years ago and lasted only seven years. It was known by its participants as Triangle Studios.
Triangle was an incubator for young artists who wanted to participate in the art world as it was known then in Seattle. There was an emerging class of art buyers who were less interested in the old Northwest School and more interested in what artists under the age of thirty were doing. A few sharp art dealers saw this new market and opened art galleries to provide for it.
Triangle was one spot where the new ideas could gestate and develop. The experiment in an art incubator was successful, and when the artists were sufficiently confident financially, they left Triangle Studios and worked in studios limited to production. Now they are in their ‘sixties and their stories complete.
IPCI is not that kind of incubator, because there is no emerging class of consumers who are so interested in what artists under thirty are doing that they will pay thousands of dollars a year to purchase it. Besides, it was not printmaking that made the artists of the 1970’s and 1980’s independent. Printmaking was a minor part of their output. Printmaking was valuable only in the social lessons those young artists learned plus an introduction to basics of new technologies like video and computer-aided art.
IPCI is not focused on production of that bygone era. IPCI is focused the creativity that is assigned to artists but not to their products. IPCI is focused on experience and labor-making of the sort described in the two popular terms: the experience economy and the creative economy. IPCI has printmaking at its core, but not making prints alone. The act of making prints is more important than the print, for it is the action that people respond to (and spend money) and not the prints.
This does not exclude buying prints, but largely so. That’s why the core concept behind artistscrip to develop IPCI is not for the products called prints, but for the action of participating in the development of a city asset – the International Print Center and Incubators. The product is the stock certificate, conceived in the spirit of concomitant engineering, where the process and product form a continuous loop, or spiral.
Labor is involved now in my making of actual, physical certificates, the elements that I invent that go into it, the models I use to design it (such as the companies that sell decorative stock certificates of real corporations) and the features that make the certificate link to the Internet.
The labor comes from managing the story, the images, the links on the web, and hands-on etching. Already I am getting closer to the engraving of the printing plate for the certificates. I’m happy to be in contact with an engraver in Brazil for one of the colors, and one in Maine. In Hungary I have a contact whose specialty is in theories about traditional banknote engraving and cybercash.
Now I must go back and “labor” in my studio on this fascinating stage of my development of IPCI.

Monday, August 27, 2018


ps180827 Leticia Gasca

Towards artistscrip 

Leticia Gasca, thanks to TED Talks, explained her venture starting in business school and failing at her startup. She is Mexican, and she knew about some women who made wonderful products by hand. As they were unschooled business methods, Leticia decided to help. Despite her efforts to make the business profitable, she could see it was failing. She had to shut it down. Her message on the TED Talk was to be mindful of what happens to the employees if the CEO declares the business dead and bankrupt.
In societies were failure is shame, she said entrepreneurs hide their failures. But in societies that are okay with failures, they may even brag about their failures. How many times have we been told how such-and-such hugely successful business person went bankrupt, lost their home and, years later, emerged a multibillionaire?
We don’t consider the lost jobs he or she was responsible for. Granted, they were jobs, if temporarily. Consider, too, how many investors lost their investments – what those investors had to tell their friends and family. “Yes, I invested in that startup, yes, it went belly-up.” Failure is not the end of the world for these entrepreneurs and investors, but for those who lost their jobs, the setbacks are mighty bad.
I study TED Talks at least once a week, and since entrepreneurship is on my mind in connection with the International Print Center Incubators (IPCI), I think about stories about startups and investors. I rely on investors to start the IPCI.
When I listened to Leticia’s TED Talk, I tried to picture what it was that those women in Mexico were making – what was Leticia talking about? Hand-painted and varnished gourds, maybe? Hand-woven wall decorations or purses? As a college student I used to visit La Tienda in Seattle and so it’s easy to imagine the wonderful things Leticia was referring to. In fact, those items in La Tienda had a “Leticia” helping the crafts people and artisans get their goods to the Seattle store and many others.
My mind flips to some contacts I’ve had with Seattle incubators and consultants who are helping entrepreneurs with their startups. They help by teaching basic business methods like writing business plans, marketing, and selling. I’ve bought the books about the Canvas method, I’ve gone to venture capital meetings off and on for twenty-five years.
When I think about Leticia’s story, I concluded that there is a parallel between what she saw as a potential job-creating business (Mexican handicrafts) and my Halfwood Press design. Imagine if Leticia had been passing my window on 5th Avenue in Seattle, saw the Mini Etching Press and came in to talk about it.
She would see in me and Tom Kughler something like those Mexican women making nice things, one at a time, and selling a few hundred of them to a few hundred people worldwide. She might have thought, “Yes, but will it pay the makers’ wages? Is it sustainable? Have Bill and Tom considered the market, really, and how big is, and whether it’s scalable?”
I would love if “a Leticia Gasca” would walk in one day and ask me those questions, but it hasn’t happened yet. Not in Seattle. However, I get many visitors and usually it’s because they saw the Mini Etching Press in the window and it stopped them in their tracks. That alone suggests there is a market. In emails I’ve had interest from foreign countries like China and India. Today one came from Singapore, where there are four presses I designed and helped make and send to artists. People in twenty countries – from Estonia to Taiwan – ordered our presses.
What are the chances that someone will put out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a Halfwood Etching press they happened to see, in Seattle, a city of over 700,000 people, in a window in Uptown? It has happened, more than once; however, most were discovered on the Internet, which I paid nothing for except my time took to make snapshots, web pages and videos on YouTube.
For almost fifteen years I designed and helped make and sell 250 Halfwood Presses starting out at $500 to $3,750 retail. The competition’s presses are cheaper, but not as beautiful; and I believe beauty to be in the eye, mind and heart of the viewer. I designed the Halfwood Press with beauty and functionality in mind; I never thought of its scalability until Tom showed me the miniature version of my first press.
Now I think about scalability a lot! I think the press can pay for IPCI. Recently I started two new approaches to my plan for funding IPCI on sales and services around the design of the Halfwood Press. One is community action, the other is crowd funding.
In community action I proposed IPCI as a city asset, a destination for tourists and professional who love printmaking, prints and printmakers. I offered this to Seattle developers and City officials by participating in groups like the Uptown Arts and Culture Coalition.
Crowdfunding is the other approach, as the UACC is, so far, indifferent to my idea for IPCI. If a group of investors funded IPCI’s startup, then the UACC and the City might be counted on for support.
I am like Leticia in that I think what Tom and I have designed, built and sold is a wonderful product. We have tested it and collected data proving it’s a minimally-viable product. It passes the test described in the workshops in financing startups. It sustains, too, as I correspond with owners and I keep their contact information, write newsletters, and speculate on scaling the business in different markets.
Leticia’s women in Mexico were not designing or inventing anything new, I imagine – folk art, maybe, or wearables. Nor did I invent anything new. Etching presses have been around for four-hundred years. The times, however, and the educational support for etching has changed what printmaking means. I was part of that education as a printmaking professor.
Crowd funding is possible. There’s plenty of literature and debate about laws that have made crowdfunding legal. I’m not convinced, nor is my attorney, it’s the way to go. I do know, however, that I am not the one who can discuss it alone; picture me talking to my reflection in a mirror! What do I know about running an S-Corporation or a C-Corp? I am less interested in 5013c, by the way.
On the other hand, picture me as an innovator who can not only design, help build, market and sell worldwide 250 halfwood presses over fourteen years’ time. If I can do that, can I design a financing innovation? Yes, I can. It’s called artistscrip. Disclosure: I am not qualified to offer legal shares.
It’s time to go to my studio, so I stop here. I must produce a memoir leading up to artistscrip. Who knows? Today, Monday, August 27, 2018, may be the day “a Leticia” walks in.


Thursday, August 9, 2018


180809 The coming great reconstruction era 

Whenever trouble fills the air, like the ochre haze that hangs overhead in the burning seasons, I think of the coming great American reconstruction. I recall the words of John Lennon:

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be . . . let it be.

No matter how hopeless it seems, as there’s no putting out the fires, no restoring the killed trees nor the killed children all over the world, if America has a place in saving Earth’s human life sustainability, then Americans must restore things at home.
It will be hard. It will take years, perhaps decades. Fifty years is a fair estimate, and I will be dead before measurable progress is made. Those who measure the progress are, at this time, little children. They will write about the great American reconstruction and compare it to the first Reconstruction era, which lasted less than a generation, but which was never completed.
This is Wikipedia’s short description of the Reconstruction era:
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. The term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex-Confederate states from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate nationalism and ended slavery, making the newly free slaves citizens with civil rights apparently guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.
Evidently the Republican congress was unable to achieve what they set out to as the democratic system is flawed. The constitution is open to discussion, and the church entered through loopholes the founding fathers never dreamed the church would exploit.
Thus we have today a nation divided, as it was in the 1860’’s, with a demagogue who calls himself a Republican but who, like any opportunist with mental problems and of low intelligence, exploits the two-party system to his advantage. The congress and the courts are weak and easily influenced by money. The voters are apathetic as they see the problems as being so huge as to be insoluble.
Scientists have warned for half a century that the skies would be almost permanently ochre-colored, and millions of acres of flora would be turned into dust and carbon dioxide like a slow detonation of a bomb. Not in a flash like a nuclear warhead, but like a natural act of God. Only it is not God who is doing it, but Americans and the American way of life.
When I see the devastation, both Natural and man-made, and I take measure of my tiny efforts toward education, I take hope in the coming of the great American Reconstruction coming. I say it begins today – August 9, 2018 – and it should embolden voters for politicians of all stripes who understand the science and the data that point to imminent destruction of Earth’s human life sustainability.
Some people, who I think have latent suicidal tendencies, say it is better that human life be extinguished, as humans have already destroyed many other life forms and show no sign of letting up. Already those who have a strong life urge – not suicidal – especially parents of young children, are looking for solutions.
The solutions may not come from within America, however, they may come from outside our borders. Canada and Mexico, for example, stand to decide for Americans what they must do. China, too and even North Korea, or nations in the Middle East, are critical of American behavior.
Above them all is science and Nature. One which has the means to make logical forecasts based on probability and the other who can assemble the greatest forces of the Universe.


Saturday, June 30, 2018


180520 Are Emeralda and IPCI the same? 


Daily I visit the ten glass beads on my personal website and choose one of the “islands-of-domains-of-expertise” to see where I left off on the design of Emeralda Region. Emeralda was going to be my ticket to fame. Emeralda was supposed to restore my place in the education world. It was supposed to prove my hypothesis that printmaking is a portal to understanding art and technology.
Extracting from the success stories of my former students and focusing not only on their art. In addition to their innate skills, I focused also on what I observed were their skills in ten domains-of-expertise. It took some doing, but I managed to twist their bonus talents and perceived interlocking pretzels of domains. Finally I made up islands where these domains were pre-eminent features of cultural assets.
There are ten imaginary islands. What remained for me, for the rest of my life, was travel among these islands. I made a schedule. To give myself time to reflect about printmaking and its place in higher education, I fabricated a prize, the Gates Prize for Exemplary Teaching, Research, Practice and Service.
The Gates Prize (named for Elmer Gates, a neuroscientist born in the 19th Century who practiced this branch of medicine before there was a name for it) was what I imagined I might have won if my career had not been cut short in 1984. Readers may be reminded of Orwell’s world, and it was a fact in my time at the UW.
Peter Bloom, in his book, Closing the American Mind, wrote about that period. It was the mid-1980s when higher education entered a depression; I lived it, and my development died then. From a distance I watched as my former teaching province was deconstructed and I was erased from its history by one who replaced me. I escaped from a dire situation; not so the rest of the American education institutions. For three decades and counting, I have lived as castaway.
However, my life raft is well-equipped, thanks to the lessons I learned from my college teachers students at the UW. For example, in one of my experiments I proposed that video could serve artists and I established a video art course. In the class we practiced teamwork, free exchange of ideas and performance art. A casual remark about Herman Hesse’s novel, Magister Ludi: The glass bead game, led me to the idea of using glass beads as playing-pieces in a table-top version of Emeralda.
Trivial things like this is what I believe higher education was all about. If my career had not been cut short by the internecine politics at the UW School Of Art, Washington State would have, today, something like my vision of the International Print Center and Incubators, IPCI, a Seattle asset.
On the other hand, the fact that the students didn’t realize that those trivial things were the acorns from which might oaks could grow underscores the fact that, in a perfect studio, where teaching, research, practice and service were happening all at the same time, all under one roof, it isn’t clear what good can come from the interaction of teachers and students. Not until there is proof.
Instead, what occurred was proof that mediocrity at high levels trickles down. Cynicism takes the place of contemplation and testing of hypothesis, narrow-mindedness and fear prevail. Therefore, better that IPCI not be part of a corrupted institution.
If the UW had kept me and allowed my plan to re-define printmaking along the lines of its root in other technologies, eventually the culture of university politics would have resulted in an IPCI with UW ties so intertwined that the inevitable rigidity and ignorance would have made the oak tree rot at its core.
To wit, the model I called the Granger Clay Products Campus in Central Washington was inspired by Dale Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School and The Evergreen State College’ founding. Where I thought a skunkworks media arts center would be state-supported, Dale’s idea was privately-supported. Pilchuck (and Dale) succeeded because of business acumen in its sponsors’ attunement to the creative economy and, consciously or not, the principle of the wealth of nations.
What does this teach me? An IPCI must be a business, a corporation designed to make a profit. Its parts must enable its participants to realize their dreams in the same way that I accidentally helped my students realize theirs. The architecture I drew up for Emeralda is morphing into a basket of eggs, each egg representing a hypothetical business in which artistically-inclined people can succeed.
In this sense, my Emeralda has become the International Print Center and Incubators, so named as a marketing device but an Artrepreneurial school, a training center for franchises which monetizes printmaking in ways beyond making prints. It teaches a hybrid of the creative economy and the experience economy about which has been written by authors John Howkins (The creative economy is a powerful engine of growth and community vitality. Together, artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative businesses produce and distribute cultural goods and services that generate jobs, revenue, and quality of life. A thriving cultural sector leads to thriving communities”) and Pine & Gilmore (consumers unquestionably desire experiences, and more and more businesses are responding by explicitly designing and promoting them).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


180627 Escape Rembrandt’s Press 

I wrote Rembrandt’s Ghost in the New Machine as one asset to add to funding the International Print Center & Incubators – IPCI, Inc. – an S-corp, or Benefit Corporation. Writing it was partly a response to my older idea of the teacher in a box. PressGhost was the incarnation of that concept. It’s all about education, after all.
But education is not a good business. It’s not that the U.S. marketplace is big on education now. Peter Bloom wrote Closing of the American Mind about the time I was being pressed out of my teaching job at the University of Washington.
A good teacher, however, will not roll over dead just because the establishment kicks him out of their club lounge. A good art teacher, too, will not go along with the herd if he or she has dug deep into the meaning of the cultural arts. I teach creativity, and by inventing ways to connect an art tool (or instrument) to the cultural arts, I walk my talk.
I put my mind to designing the Mini Halfwood Press, then I put my mind in it, i.e., the PressGhost.
My research in printmaking (and this does not apply to its cousins, painting, drawing and sculpture) showed the stronger side of its value: technology. Its cousins in photography, film, video and digital-based systems are more important to education.
Thus, I built on a base of artists’ relationship to people through media such as photographs (of art), cinema, video and digital art. Add to this performance skill and it sums up to what I do, which is gaming.
It is not consumer-type games I do, however, but e-games, which are educational games in the guise of entertainment.
As I write this I am practicing my playing of the game I named, Emeralda: Games for the Gifts of Life. I call it practice, but I’m also producing an essay, words for the culture I learned in college, the life of the mind.
Having exceeded my allotment in years, three-score and ten—I move toward the end of my life in the cultural arts. Its highest level of attainment in education is through the channels of media, and the interface is business exchange—commerce being the oldest form of valuation.
I can think of no better means to teach than by commerce, and this includes the incorporation of buyers and sellers into a mutually beneficial relationship. Corporations have provided the structural means to make the relationship happen. It begins with shareholders in the enterprise and includes the consumers who prove and sustain the value of the enterprise. It’s a recursive relationship that works.
An etching press with a brain, or a teacher in a box, can be a product to sustain interaction and mutual benefits but not if its purchase stops at the old frame of reference, i.e., making prints for consumption. That’s because on that level, prints are the same as paintings and drawing but cheaper.
Continuous interaction between maker and consumer is where printmaking trumps its cousins, painting and drawing because printmaking has cousins in technology, too, and this makes all the difference.
Therefore, IPCI is a corporation; but because IPCI is a cultural arts corporation, it may fall under the S-corp or B-corp mantel—Service and Benefit. My only means to finance the startup is my name to those who know my name is as a teacher and artist. It’s likely I’m better at teaching than I will ever be as an artist; time will tell, and we don’t have any more of it.
What is apparent immediately is that I have a thousand unsold works of art in our storage – works of art which will be disposed of as trash soon after I die. But it doesn’t have to be that way. These thousand works can be used for shares in IPCI, Inc., sold as scrip to finance the incubators (the second “I” in IPCI for which IPCI is unique in all the world).
For it is not only for making prints as consumer products that I have spent my life, but also for the benefit of the Earth’s human life sustainability and that, in turn, is educational benefit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


180626 Publishing PDF on SendOwl 

We are living in the digital age of the feuilleton described in the back story of Hermann Hesse’s book, The Glass Bead Game. I got stuck in college, like a dinosaur in a tar pit. I’m unable to get out of the habits I learned in college – teaching, doing research, practicing and producing and doing service to communities-of-practice. Like those creatures trapped 38,000 years ago, I am trapped in habits of thought I learned in college.
The habits of teaching, research, practice and service I learned from my teachers led to experiments (research) with video as a teaching instrument and an art instrument. The significance for an arts professional and his or her students would be clear from the 1930’s on, when several scientific discoveries and engineering developments converged, changing the course of human history and pointing to either the specie’s further development or the specie’s destruction both of itself and multitudes of other living species.
Earth’s sustainability of human life, then, became my focus. The present age which resembles Hesse’s view of feuilleton, and mine, too, only updated. He responded with literature. I respond with digital works designed for the Web.
Feuilleton in Wikipedia: In the novel The Glass Bead Game (1943), by Nobel Prize-winning novelist Hermann Hesse, the current era is characterized and described as "The Age of the Feuilleton".[3] In Hesse's novel, this so-called age of the feuilleton, viewed retrospectively from a future scholarly society called Castalia, is generally but not simply portrayed as having an overweening, trivializing or obfuscating character such as is associated with the arbitrary and primitive nature of social production prior to the historical denouement that resulted in the creation of Castalia. The bourgeois feuilleton of the Belle Époque, especially in France during the period of the Dreyfus affair, as well as those of Fascist Germany, served to effect Kulturpolitik; they established norms and tastes, contributed to the formation of social identity, and often expressed an underlying antisemitism. Glasperlenspiel was written during World War II, and Hesse would have been reacting in part to these real historical developments.[citation needed] In Maxim Gorky's novel "Foma Gordeev" the character Ezhóff is described as a feuilleton writer.
Like the fantasy Hesse created a region Castalia, a scholar’s haven where mastery of the arts and sciences counts, I created Emeralda. Where invented the Glass Bead Game, I invented Games for the gifts of life. In this imaginary space – played out in the media of its origination - I practice like a musician practices on an instrument. Sometimes it is an etching press—but seldom these days. Most often it is on a multimedia computer system with software only, my hands touching on keyboards, microphones and digital imaging devices such as cameras.
Most of what I produce are pages for the World Wide Web pages. However, like that dinosaur (or wolf or other species whose bones you see in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles), I cannot escape into the ordinary world in this age of the feuilleton.
I had in mind valuation of my art when I began writing my memoir. In particular, as a way to finance the IPCI feasibility study, selling my art would raise the money. Anyone reading my life story may find my story justifying my big idea of IPCI. My story may validate my idea(s).

Saturday, June 23, 2018


ap180623 Escape Emeralda Revisited  

Staring at the RIISMA screen for PRODUCTS (after clicking on the glass bead of my homepage, http://www.seanet.com/~ritchie/) I wondered how a game called Escape Emeralda would work for college credit in a MOOC connected to an art course. I have thought of printmaking for so long that getting credit and achieving printmaking skill mastery to be important that “knowing prints, printmakers and printmaking” seems important.
Maybe it isn’t. Maybe the importance of such things is part of the error in my thinking, the error of thinking latest problems can be solved in the framework of their causes.
Is it true? Think of a problem whose solution is so important that colleges can charge high tuitions to train students in their solutions’ methods. Think of a medical student pays a lot in time and money to solve problems that matter, life-and-death situations. There is nothing close to such important things in knowing about prints, printmakers and printmaking.
Chatting with a neighbor yesterday he commented how the entertainment industry is no in trouble, economically. His daughter is a stage-hand, and reports her firsthand experiences in seeing the outlay of resources that go into major entertainment attractions at the Seattle Center.
“On a day when an event is setting up, there will be up to 20 trucks line up, off-loading for it!” Think about the outlay of resources for that!
The problem, in my opinion, is that entertainment can exacerbate the problems we face as a society and as a species living on a planet with a growing human population and dwindling resources. My game, and my teaching, were supposed to help solve problems by growing creativity, and the creativity of people was supposed to lead to creative solutions to problems.
The medical student planning to be a neurosurgeon is the recipient of tens of thousands of other surgeons who came before. I took the teaching hospital as the model for my art studio—teaching, research and practice going on simultaneously under one roof. I added service to my vision. I call it TRPS, a principle which can be applied to any endeavor for Earth’s human life sustainability.
Staring at my RIISMA screen on my vintage homepage, clicking on PRODUCTS, I tried to imagine an escape game. If I choose one of the three “rooms” I can access – currently there are only three: ARTIST STAMPS, ARTIST TRADING CARDS, and SOFTWARE. Only the first one is linked to another page.

I tried to imagine a CLUE or PHRASE, something to suggest which to choose. I tried to forecast which choice was likely to get me what I want – which is to escape. If I choose ARTIST STAMPS, its link takes me to a window where I can print my own stamps.

Sure, I can print these stamps in color or black and white depending on if I have the kind of printer for it, but why? They are not for use as legitimate postage. They are artistamps. Cool enough? Perhaps. People do, after all, take notice of them in the gallery. If they are physically in the Mini Art Gallery, they can see the stamps in a drawer, and they often want to buy them, and I have, indeed sold them.


The shop is not set up like a store, currently, to make purchases easy. I’m not even set up to sell things; it’s awkward for me. I’m not a shopkeeper, although I could use the money! I have PayPal and PayPalHere, but I don’t take time to practice with it to be efficient.
Not a shopkeeper nor am I a cashier. I am a professor, through-and-through, simple as that. A professor does research besides teach and produce (through practice, practice and more practice).
But what am I researching? What am I practicing? Initially, in the 1980’s, my research was to discover and apply the justification for teaching printmaking in a university. The premise that art should be taught in a university had already been justified. But printmaking within its walls had not.
My hypothesis was that printmaking was being taught incorrectly as an extension of painting. Printmaking is the ancestor of technology—not the poor cousin of fine art painting; therefore, students should be taught printmaking as such, not merely to reproduce drawing and painting canon. This has important social and economic meaning and the main thing is the reliance on teamwork and interaction with Nature, i.e., Earth science.
So, as I begin my day, my screen awaits me. Where do I go from here to, “Escape Emeralda?”