I can finally reveal my collaboration with Stephen Lambert for the Intersecting Methods 2016 portfolio. Our print is a 15 layer print that utilizes CMYK laser engraving, pronto plate and screenprinting to depict the algorithms interpretation of the source images.
Okay, back story time. Once Stephen completed writing the algorithms we decided to use this print as an experiment in and of itself to expand further on the idea of our collaboration. The image in the top left hand corner is our control. We choose this image because it shows some depth of field and space while its main subject is a camera profile card that is used to make initial corrections to images from a photoshoot.
By choosing this control image, we calibrated the system of algorithms to create the optimal interpretation of the control image. Once we had the algorithms separating out the key information, secondary information and background information, we applied it to the other three images we choose to see how the algorithms would interpret and break down their information and as you can see above, it was quite different for each image.
So I started the process with the above blocks. They are the CMYK separation of each image. I printed them in order of magenta, yellow, cyan, black because after some tests in December I preferred that order to allow the greens to pop a bit more with the cyan on top of the yellow.
I printed the laser engraved blocks on to Kozo #8 Natural paper from Hiromi Paper because it would allow me to print all four images on single sheets with maximum size from the laser engraver and then easily chine colle them to BFK Rives paper for later layers. To have printed all four images in their final layout would have made me shrink the images slightly smaller and allow less detail to come out of the final print.
The final result produced great colors for each image and blended really well. After they dried, I applied them to Dura-Mount, an acid-free, archival double sided adhesive, and registered them to each backing sheet of BFK. Once in place, I created a pronto plate of the secondary layer by tracing over a print out of the information with sharpie. The pronto plate layer was printed in a translucent white ink to subdue and push back the information slightly without completely blocking it out.
Once the pronto plate was printed on each sheet. I prepared 10 digital files to create the 10 areas of screenprinted color to describe and block out what the program interpreted as background information.
Finally, with the completion of the 10 layers of screenprinting on top of the four layers of laser engraved woodcut and one layer of pronto plate, I tore down the backing sheets of BFK to the 14″x18″ size for the portfolio and spent a day curating the prints for the edition. In total out of 42 initial sheets, we have 26 prints for the edition and five artist proofs.
Stephen came over yesterday to sign the prints and with his signature we are done. I am still waiting on a print for the Intersecting Methods 2016 portfolio, but I will begin to post about each work I have received as I receive statements from the participants.
I will say that there are some quite amazing and unusual prints in this iteration of the portfolio. A few use some time tested traditional methods for production, but still get the essence of the collaboration, while others are beginning to really expand the idea of this collaboration and what a print can do. I look forward to sharing those with you very soon.