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Printmaking Research

We actively encourage applicants for the practice-based MPhil and PhD programme in Printmaking. Some financial help towards fees is available. We are particularly interested in hearing from students whose work seeks to extend the language of print through the use of new technologies and innovative uses of traditional methods. Printmaking research students are integrated in the programme taking part in work-in-progress seminars, annual exhibitions and publishing ventures and are encouraged to present their work to other students throughout the course.

Current or Recent Areas of Research

The Material Image – a series of research themes that are distinguished  by an exploration of materiality and questions raised by works that use collage, montage, appropriation and the archive – i.e. the cut-and-paste history of print production. The tensions between craft and (re)presentation, the hand vs prosthetic machine and reproduction/copy vs original are central to debates about print in Fine Art and a rich source of questions. Questions of technologies of the image become associated with so called ‘new’ technologies. What are the shifts in understanding and possibility that come with the invention of digital print / scanning / stereolithography / web-based work? Are ideas of embodiment space and narration changed by these new forms? In what ways does this repeat or shift the revolutions of movable type, lithography, screen-print, etching, engraving, photogravure? Free from their reprographic function  these older technologies now have new hybrid potentials.

Collage/Montage/Appropriation is central to much print-based work, which demand a more complex re-reading of the histories of different collagist strategies that contest the  general Pop/ Postmodernist definition.

The Archive – both our own archive and the notion of archiving. This focus on the document and ephemera (rather than the documentary) and the implications of the virtual archive of the web are central to much staff and student work.

Re-Sitation (i.e. the public location of printed matter) – the changing site and the public location of print, this area of research considers a book as a site, similarly a billboard or protest banner, the random juxtapositions of  magazine pages, a bookshop or a Google search.

Digital Dialogues – explorations of the relation of analogue to digital imaging/recording processes. Printmaking is key in looking at the history of computing in the RCA through the revisiting of an event in 1969; Event 1. So-called virtuality gives rise to new understandings of materiality by contrast. In what ways are phenomenological understandings of art and making changed by the ubiquity of these new tools?