Print as continuum: repropriation and the spoils of multiplicity

PhD Thesis

Beaumont, Deborah J.. 2010. Print as continuum: repropriation and the spoils of multiplicity. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

Print as continuum: repropriation and the spoils of multiplicity

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorBeaumont, Deborah J.
SupervisorStewart, Robyn
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages307

In Toowoomba a little off one of the main streets, air was pungent with inky aromas as a massive newspaper printing press went about its daily business. Created here, during a normal newspaper print-run were ink-stained, incidental and accidental prints known as spoils – the monotypes of a mass-printing process. Such detritus created the context for an investigation into the reproductions and slippages of print.

This study was conducted during a period of significant transitions in the sites and technologies of local newspaper printing. Fieldwork enabled research at Ruthven Street before the site was made redundant, and then occurred at Industrial Avenue. Both sites have also operated as decentralised studios thus permitting a phenomenological approach to the print that has informed and inspired my art-making practice as well as providing the subject and object for practice-led research from which a methodology of repropriation has evolved.

Repropriation (Beaumont 2005) is a term coined to indicate a process where the reproduction is appropriated and re-produced. As Eisenstein (1979) notes, aside from the social, cultural and political implications that went with a wide dissemination of print, the printing press was responsible for the illusion that the errors of manuscript practices were eliminated, but she observes that the errata were not eliminated but standardised. However, the print is not always an 'exactly repeatable pictorial statement' (Ivins 1969: 3); there are differences between copies, sometimes minute or imperceptible, that which Duchamp (Naumann 1999) may have designated as infra-thin. It is this property that positions the print as continuum.

Repropriation explores the doublings and multiplicities implicit in the concept of the print and folded within its mechanism are the tautologies of the original/copy dichotomy. Repropriation operates through the mode of repetition, it is concerned with what Wollheim (1995: 388) might term 'continuity-conditions', and it denies the passivity of the reproduction. Print as continuum: repropriation and the spoils of multiplicity embeds the times, places and technologies of local newspaper printing in the material practice of this research in order to augment the slippages inherent in print production and the participatory nature of the reproduction.

Keywordsprint; repropriation; multiplicity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360699. Visual arts not elsewhere classified
360299. Creative and professional writing not elsewhere classified
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