Irena R. Knežević, Vladimir M. Ranković FIlIp S. Misita
Post-digital graphics is a general connotation that denotes hybrid use of analog printing techniques and digital technologies in graphics art practices. It brings matrix back into the center of graphic practice, as it was put aside, in a way, with the use of computers. In the words of American authors, Angela Geary and Paul Catanese imply „experimental practice and interdisciplinary thinking – a radically contemporary space where emerging, ancient, new and old technologies co-evolve and intermingle“. Relying on the debates about graphics techniques from the end of last century, especially on papers of Benoit Junod (the subtitle of this paper is adopted from him), and Bogdan Kršić published in ’Exlibris Letopis’, this paper has a goal to point out at the changes that happened in graphic art at the end of the last and in the beginning of this century, and to set up certain guidelines that will contribute to a better understanding of the changes and possible directions of graphics as an artistic practice in the future. The premise is that in the time of digital media the traditional division of printmaking techniques on relief printing, intaglio, planographic printing, and stenciling has become inadequate.
This division was based on the printing technique. At the same time, production of the printing matrix implies a linear sequence of procedures, with the obligatory printing of such matrix in a certain way, where each deviation from the established sequence implies the establishment of the new technique. That kind of correlation between socalled primary and derivative techniques is manifested between etching and softground etching, as well as between aquatint and sugar-lift etching. Furthermore, the deviation from the usual and expected way of printing, if noted, can be or is treated as a new technique. So, we can consider linocut as relief printing technique, linoengraving as intaglio printing technique from the matrix that is processed exactly the same, or, etching as intaglio printing technique and etching as relief printing technique. In order to make it easier to understand new graphics techniques, one possibility is to have a double designation or label 1) matrix production technique and 2) printing technique whereby the first label would include the technique used to draw on lithographic limestone or metal plate if its algraphy. One of the possible new divisions is the one suggested by Geary and Catanese – analog, digital and post-digital graphics. Regarding big and growing bigger role of digital technologies, even in the processes that have the oldest printing techniques at its core, it is realistic to assume that the postdigital graphics will become the dominant form of contemporary graphic practice.
It is important to notice procedures that include the use of digital media in matrix production, where the final results are graphics printed in relief printing and intaglio printing techniques. Because of the divergence of the contemporary graphics, it is expected that one word or short phrase won’t be enough to clearly denote the technique, most of the times. Graphic art events that emphasize technical-technological aspect will certainly expect descriptive nomination of technique.