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The Print as Archive

CFP | CAA 2023 ANNUAL CONFERENCE | February 15 – 18, 2023
Session will present: In-Person
Affiliated Society or Committee Name: Association of Print Scholars
Emily Friedman , Emily Monty and Angel Jiang
Email Address(s): , ,

This panel interrogates the concept of the print as an archive. Traditionally, the study of printmaking across geographies and periods has relied on comparing impressions, assigning attributions, and understanding market conditions in order to draw conclusions about their conditions of production, reception, and meaning. Yet, conventions of printmaking and collecting fray the edges of this perceived certainty. Adapting perspectives from book history and media theory that emphasize the inherent variability of prints has challenged us to question established approaches to print history. While prints can act as a testament to what is left behind, these traces can be deceptive. Can those remnants of evidence actually be mined as an archive of something beyond the work itself? Can we trust the printed image as an archive?
Acknowledging that archives contain structural biases, this panel aims to examine the potentials and limits of approaching prints as repositories and agents of knowledge. Do we learn something new about the medium of print if we think of it as an archive? As demonstrated by the “technical turn” and the work of scholars such as Jennifer Roberts and Michael Gaudio, matrices, marks, biting, spirals of copper, states, and proofs materialize labor, process, and meaning. This approach has also found traction in the work of anthropologist Tim Ingold and media theorist Bernard Siegert.

We welcome papers that explore the print as a document; methodologies that imagine alternate histories, materials and processes; as well as themes such as collecting, editioning, collaboration, process, and experimental techniques.

Please send the following via email to session chairs by August 31, 2022.
Completed proposal form (click to download).
A shortened CV (close to 2 pages).
(Optional) Documentation of work; limit to five images as a single PDF, especially for sessions in which artists might discuss their own practice.

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