Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today

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Add to Cart. Arrives by Monday, Sep Pickup not available. Product Highlights With a widely eclectic variety of protest art in mediums such as relief, lithography, collagraph, and photography, this major collection of contemporary politically engaged printmaking showcases art that uses themes of social justice and global equity to engage community members in conversation. Based on an art exhibition that has traveled to more than a dozen cities in North America and including many do-it-yourself samples, this eye opening book contains works from more than international artists.

From the well established--Sue Coe, Swoon, Carlos Cortez--to street artists, rock poster makers, and up-and-comers such as Favianna Rodriguez and Chris Stain, this diverse collection is the work of artists who felt the need to respond to the monumental trends and events of modern politics. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.

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Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. For many of the artists in Paper Politics , art is politics.

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But there are clearly differing ideas about the relationship between art and politics and what constitutes resistance. Dan Wang hints at a conception of resistance that puts some distance between art-making and politics.

Josh MacPhee and others discuss Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today | Pegasus Books

And, depending on what one prints, of course, contrarianism can very quickly become resistance. This suggests an art that is instrumentalized—propaganda—the means-ends dimension of art. This is a conception in which art-making is not the embodiment of politics, but rather, a means to an end, an instrument that is used to reach a particular goal or set of goals. Whether it is in its form, content, or the tension between them that hand printing and dissemination are understood as resistant, for many of the artists in Paper Politics the horizon of this resistance begins in the field of cultural production.

In order to better understand some of the internal logics of printmaking as resistance, I think it would help to look at the ways hand printing and dissemination function in relation to three categories: quality, quantity, and accessibility. Think of these as conceptual tools.

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None of these categories function in isolation of one another—they are all interrelated. Printmaking as resistance is understood as a qualitatively different activity that uses qualitatively different tools to intervene in the physical world. These activities and tools are used to create new objects and new meanings in order to establish new relationships that are qualitatively different than the relationships and products that result from working with digital processes.

The physical qualities of hand composition are seen as being a more direct, less mediated, and thus more authentic expression of lived experience, particularly in their ability to express affective qualities. I enjoy thinking with my hands.

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The category of quantity in printmaking as resistance functions in two related ways. This is production at a human scale. These built-in limitations are seen as antithetical to the hegemonic logics of mass state or corporate communication. An advertising agency whose goal is to reach as many people as possible is unlikely to print an etching , times by hand when they could scan the original and offset print it in less time for less money. Conversely, printing small quantities by hand is understood as resisting art as mass-produced commodity and its logics of mass communication.

Printing small quantities by hand is also understood as countering the cult of the lone artist producing a single, unique piece. Hand-printing processes, small print runs, and local distribution are ostensibly more democratic because they are accessible on multiple levels. It is affordable to make anywhere, anytime, with few materials.

For example, you can rub cooking oil on a paper drawing to get it transparent, expose it on a screen using sunlight, wash out the screen in a sink, and print on the floor. Because handmade prints can be fairly cheap to produce, many artists either give them away or sell them for very little. Accessible also means who gets to see them. Resistance as printmaking is an attempt to create new conditions under which others can access art.

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It is also about breaking down the dominant logic of exchange that dictates the division between the producers and consumers of art, while increasing possibilities for expression, communication, and participation. Several artists in Paper Politics express the idea that processes of hand printing and dissemination constitute a potentially liberating form of labor. It is as a qualitatively, quantitatively, and accessibly different form of labor that these processes are understood to be resisting capitalist society.

Statements like these clearly express a desire to overcome the dominating character of a commodity-producing society. This is done by opposing the abstract character of capitalist society with concrete counter-principles. One way of understanding this attack on the abstract from the standpoint of the concrete is through the concept of commodity fetishism.

First developed by Marx, commodity fetishism refers to forms of thought that remain bound to the forms of appearance of capitalist social relations. Hand printing is seen as a natural, purely material, creative process that is not socially and historically mediated.