SILLIS – Description

Creating the visual book

through integration of the technologies of photogravure and digital processes

Project synopsis

The following is excerpted from an application to SSHRC – the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada – for a Research/Creation Grant to Artist/Researchers.
Creating the visual book through integration of the divergent technologies of photogravure and digital processes. In this research, the three artists explore how historical and contemporary technologies challenge and expand the limitations of each other. The impact and implication of integrating the different tools will be considered in all stages of the work; from the initial genesis through to the audience reception.

The objective of this project is to investigate the creation of book works using an integrated approach to the technologies of printmaking, photography and digital imaging. This project has been awarded a three-year grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and in line with the Council’s mandate has four main components:  research, creation, training and dissemination. The broad challenge of incorporating technologies will be focused by a specific research into the process of colour separation photogravures. This image-making medium will then be applied to the creation of book works and sequential imagery. Students and research assistants will receive training by working alongside the team throughout the entire project. In the aim of disseminating information, links will be established through the creation of international working groups. Knowledge will be shared during workshops, through publication of written material on the web and book arts newsletters and e-journals. The development of critical theoretical perspectives will evolve into articles appropriate for contemporary journals. Exhibitions and participation at conferences will also be key means of dissemination.

Two questions motivated this project. What is the impact of the integration of digital and analogue technologies on image making and the creation of book works? How does media-related decision making influence outcome? This research functions as the catalyst for three artist/researchers to combine expertise while creating individual work and engaging in critical dialogue. The team consists of three members, Marlene MacCallum as principal applicant and David Morrish and Pierre LeBlanc as co-applicants. Marlene MacCallum has expertise in the areas printmaking, photogravure and book arts with strong skills in the area of photography. David Morrish has expertise in the areas of photography and photogravure with strong skills in the areas of digital imaging and book arts. Pierre LeBlanc has expertise in the areas of digital imaging, photography and printmaking with strong skills in the area of critical theory.

The proposed research presents an opportunity to create work that is experimental in nature and encourages evolution for each artist as well as the members of the working group. Book works provide the ideal non-media specific context for integration with cross and inter-disciplinary potential. The proposal would hopefully be a catalyst within the Canadian cultural and educational arenas to further the creation, education, and dissemination of the book arts. This project is motivated by a desire to challenge and expand on our use of both traditional and contemporary reproducible technologies. The use of various media to create work has a direct bearing on both the artist and the resulting product. Through a thoughtful analysis of the decision making process at all stages of production it will be possible to propose cultural theory that will explore the work of art from inception to reception and examine how media-related decision making can influence outcome.