Now you see it, now you don’t. How do contemporary artists address the problematics of visualisation through re-inventing both analogue and digital techniques of printmaking?
This Printmaking as one of the oldest image making technologies is often omitted from debates on contemporary artistic media. This paper aims to contribute to addressing this lacuna.Drawing on Georges Didi-Huberman’s conception of the imprint, the paper investigates the artistic interactions between and disruptions of technological and material affordances, medial conventions as well as iconographic and formal means of the four chosen artists. Importantly, while foregrounding mutability rather than a habitually presumed stability, the artists ─ Christiane Baumgartner, Susan Collins, Oscar Muñoz, Andrea Büttner ─ craft new, intensified materialities. Through such means they contribute to an unpicking of the ostensible will to mastery and transparency, especially (but not only) of digital images. Generating thus culturally and socially necessary representational and experiential ‘friction/s’ (Joselit), the specific formal and material strategies of the artists are also tied to an ethics that permits the mobilisation of ‘the anachronism of the authentic as a challenge to our present’ (Balsom, 2014,76).