Machines Under Pressure | Kris Decker

They bend over the machine, apply materials and wipe surfaces, move from the table where they mix the colors to the prints spread out on the floor, deliberate over “Cadillac blue” (Stauch), return to working on their own, modify the composition of the paint, discuss the results of the next print run, which are provisionally hung on a wall, and make pragmatic, aesthetic, conceptual, artisanal, and technical decisions.

Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Gegenwartskunst Band 28

136 pages, Vexer, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-907112-58-8

Open Access

Beschreibung

In the course of a day, some matters are routine, yet others may not work out. They may become stuck, have to be repeated, reconsidered, and done from scratch. Occasionally, the machine plays up, a tool fails to do what it is supposed to, or a material decides to have its own way. Several sheets of paper have passed through the machine. What emerges is by no means accidental, as much as the outcome can neither be completely planned nor entirely predicted. The elements shaping this process are manifoldly interwoven, including the preparations at Stauch’s studio, the spatulas and brushes, the machine rollers, the stone with its special material properties, the etching agent, the artist’s ideas, the printer’s experiences, the history of their collaboration, the art history of lithography, the workshop rituals at Eglistrasse. And last but not least: the ink cans that Wolfensberger opens and from which he takes substances whose properties he has scrutinized for decades. These substances are capable of springing surprises as soon as they come into contact with the paper inside the machine. Notwithstanding routine and experience: in essence, says Wolfensberger, no two print runs are the same.

ZHdK: Institute of Contemporary Art Research