In the print media department of the Tasmanian School of Art, Launceston, Jim Brodie has confronted `techno‑fear' with studio course work that allows students to engage with computer digitised formulas and creatively manipulate laser copier hardware.
Brodie himself commenced experimentation of this type in his own printmaking in the late 1980s. He scanned photographs of the Gold Coast into an Amiga, manipulating them through a `paint program', then translated the results through the Mackintosh system to give higher resolution, printed them out as laser prints before taking the images a stage further by processing them on photo‑sensitised screens or plates. Jim Brodie's CAD or `computer‑aided design' screenprints and etchings are but a further demonstration of the interface between art practice of the past and new technology. They prove that there does not need to be a disjunction between past and present but that a more fruitful way of assessing the type of prints I've described is that techno‑creativity often relies upon both. The products of Baraki, Hoffie, Mantzaris, Vidins and Brodie extend our understanding of the aesthetic impulse and necessarily have forced the narrow guild‑based definitions of printmaking to expand. Work produced with the domestic computer and the photocopier celebrates the accessibility and democratisation of the technological process. Technology is a tool for artists to articulate with greater precision, a language commensurate with the present.