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.