Revitalization of printmaking art strongly propelled by print studios during 60s across the USA, such as Universal Limited Art Editions, Tamarind Lithography Workshop or Gemini G.E.L, initiated second Renaissance of fine art prints. It would not be exaggerated statement claiming this turn placed printmaking art for the first time to the plane of the primary artistic forms along with the painting or sculpture. Bold and new perspectives about printmaking processes and strategies made great impact on the print medium outreach and even classified printmaking as a promoter of a new speech. Moreover, new tendencies in printmaking influenced other art media thus exceeded the uniformity of discipline. Crossover, intermedia and hybrid practices loosened the boundaries of traditional division of artistic disciplines. Ever since concept of multiple moved toward the center of the field of art to became omnipresent principal in contemporary art practices. The use of print and print related processes varies as simple strategy production, basis for collaborative projects or as vehicle for political, social, economical or cultural commentary. Much of new art forms and practices, actually or potentially are – or operationally incorporate – concept of multiplicity. More and more artists apply prints as part of their creative processes. Multiples, whether printed and tangible or digital, now has significant place in various art forms and art practices. Resulting artworks are 1) hybrid, as the outcome of artistic practice which is not determined by consistent discipline or medium, 2) syncretic, as a reflection of the combination of two seemingly opposed creative possibilities, tactics, strategies or ideologies, and 3) plural, i.e. composed from different constituents in a viable relationship. Finally, prints created in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach inevitably spanned ontology of printmaking. In other words, contemporary printmaking art fully reflects aesthetics of contemporary art.
The decision of the organizers to establish a panel section as part of this year Biennial program aside from ambition to develop the project came out from the true need to set academic platform in local environment with international recognition with task for analytical and critical reflection of printmaking art and print medium. This undertaking was based on apparent lack of place or regular event with strong academic prefix for re/examining the significance and potential of the medium. Since print aside in fine art, was and still is, strongly rooted in vast social and consequently inevitable economical circumstances, interdisciplinary was openly highlighted in the settings of proposition for the panel sessions. Following already well established international conferences for print practitioners and scholars (IMPACT, SGCI), Biennial also encourages abandoning boundaries in course of exploring ideas about prints and printmaking art, whether the submissions and proposals referred to theoretical research, historical investigations, innovative interpretation of traditional techniques and materials or inclusive approach to new media and emerging technologies. Some of proposals were of distinct academic format other were more in the style of illustrated talks, but all are of equal importance for mapping complex and discursive field of print and print related practices. I hope this event would make reference point for the local and international printmaking community to further explore phenomenon of printmaking art.