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PROJECT TOPIC- THE RELEVANCE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE 21st CENTURY ARTIST IN NIGERIA: AN EXPLORATION IN PRINTMAKING

PROJECT TOPIC- THE RELEVANCE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE 21st CENTURY ARTIST IN NIGERIA: AN EXPLORATION IN PRINTMAKING

 

ABSTRACT

Digital Technology has opened up new horizons of unexplored techniques and styles in printmaking. This development has no doubt expanded the creative scope of printmaking, which can be mobilized through computer graphics in combination with other traditional methods, an experience that is still on the cradle in Nigeria. Bearing this new scope of technology in mind, the researcher aim‟s to explore and establish unique techniques and styles that can be harnessed from the combination of digital and traditional methods of printmaking. The result of the study will enhance knowledge by arousing the awareness in Artist on the new creative dimension of printmaking; in addition to that, it will provide a resource base for further exploration into the new scope of printmaking.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Man by nature is a tool using animal. This statement by implication asserts that man, unlike other primates, makes an extended use of his limbs to perform specific tasks through the organized manipulation of the basic tools essential for the task in demand. The aculturization of the philosophies beneficial to humanity has elevated the intellect in man to the esteemed position of employing the tools harnessed from the dividends of the landmarks in technology, to accomplish the tasks involved in any given operational objective.

Thus, from the simple task of eating to the highly sophisticated demands in professional specializations such as science and humanities, there is the consistent application of tools to perform the task in demand.
Right from the pre-historic period, the use of crude implements by the cave man was the first bold step taken by man towards the development of technology. Technology as defined by Wehmeier and Ashby (2000) refer to the application of the scientific knowledge of the day to the method of performing a given task. This means that the cave dwellers may have applied the scientific knowledge best revealed to them at that period to produce the crude implements that they harnessed into effective use, which were principally tools for hunting and performing other minor tasks.

PROJECT TOPIC- THE RELEVANCE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE 21st CENTURY ARTIST IN NIGERIA: AN EXPLORATION IN PRINTMAKING

 

Dramatic improvements in technology took on a three fold turn from the on set of the industrial revolution by the middle of the 17th century. Mechanization based on Newtonian philosophy of the natural world, equipped man with the intellectual understanding of the physical world and how man interacts with it; thus giving him the ability to fashion out precision tools that have to a very large extent enlivened and changed the social and physical environment of humanity. This means that humanity has transcended civilizations, which have over time dictated the order of value standards that ensured the mobilization and continuity of mankind.
These developments defined on the platform of technology have chronicled in its wake, a trail of landmarks right from the Egyptian Empire to the Greek Empire, into the Roman Empire, and down to the present post modern era of Western civilization. In other words, mankind has harnessed technology to record spectacular achievements right from Egyptian architecture, through the scaffold of Greek philosophy, into the renaissance culture of the Roman Empire and down to the industrial revolution of the West, which eventually manifested the cascade of innovations and counter innovations that culminated into what we have embraced today in the 21st century as the digital culture.

The term digital culture embraces the context of technological development that is expressed and interacted by the mathematical language and attributes of digitization known as “algorithm”, which is generally harnessed through the use of the computer. Algorithm simply implies the expression of ideas in numerical version. It is a term that can be used to express ideas in any form of language like English or French, but the format of expression must be laid out in bits of controlled sequence of generation as it is expressed in the use of mathematical numerals (see Wehmeier and Ashby, 2000.). Hence, in computer language, algorithm is employed using binary numeric expression, which is defined in digits of O and I, or positives and negatives. Thus, the computer interprets the digits of these numerals as data or raw facts which are processed and displayed on the computer monitor in soft copy and are printed out in hardcopy through the printer. By this process, any data introduced into the computer is processed and expressed in digits which are identified as bytes; hence the term digital information. Thus digital technology is the pivot that propels the 21st century culture. The technology utilized by the computer in the process of inputting, processing and outputting information, which to the artist may feature in the form of drawings, tabloid, photographs and any other form of visual impression is defined as “digital technology”, (Getlein 2002.). In other words, computer graphics is harnessed or utilized by the application of digital technology.
Cueing to these developments, professionals in different walks of life strived to harness the dividends of the technology of the day to fine-tune the productive yield of their professions. Renaissance enlightenment for instance heralded the revolution in poetry and literature through the invention made by Johann Gutenberg in the 1430s by conceiving the idea of engraving the letters of the alphabet on little pieces of wood and putting them together to form words, lines, phrases and pages.

Daguerre (1839) as published in the book titled “The Camera” (Grunwald et al, 1978) developed the photographic process by applying his knowledge of photo-chemistry to the problem of reproducing images of an object photographically. This technological landmark chronicled the shift from the conventional method of recording images by drawing or painting, to a photographic technique of image rendition, which eventually redefined the concept and scope of painting and art in general. In our post-modern era of the 21st, the society depends heavily on digital technology to function. The artist naturally, is in the league of professionals who try to relay their professional objectives on the platform of the overriding digital culture. This is harnessed through the use of the computer, which is the symbolic tool of digital technology.

For the artist, one of the various moves to readjust is directed towards the context of computer graphics, which can be mobilized in a number of ways to register novelties in graphic art and design, painting and other areas like sculpture, ceramics and so on. 1.2 Statement of the Problem Digital technology has opened up new horizons of unexplored techniques and styles in printmaking. Considering the possibility that the new method can realize images on plastic, paper, fabric, cloth and so on, the blend of a digital process with any of the traditional methods of printmaking could yield very interesting results. On the other hand, exploring the manipulative potentials of digital printmaking equipment could equally produce highly creative results.

Sensitized by these creative projections, the researcher is therefore attracted to explore for novel creative yields in printmaking, which can be harnessed from computer graphics or in combination with the other traditional methods of print making, using any typical inkjet printer. The research problem therefore, arises from not trying out the new method and combining it with the traditional method.
1.3 Purpose of the Study In response to the projections so identified, the researcher aims to explore and establish unique techniques and styles that can be applied through digital technology to yield creative results in printmaking, by executing the following trials. (a) Manipulating the ink yielding attribute of a typical inkjet printer to produce prints that bear unique coloration. (b) Combining a typical inkjet printer with one or more of the traditional printmaking methods to yield very interesting prints.

1.4 Scope of the Study

PROJECT TOPIC- THE RELEVANCE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE 21st CENTURY ARTIST IN NIGERIA: AN EXPLORATION IN PRINTMAKING

 

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