Print Research Institute in Tokyo

The department of Printmaking and Print-Media of the University of the Arts in Tokyo has decided to bring together a group of researchers, to build the base for a focused cooperative and interdisciplinary discourse about Print as cultural phenomenon. 

While the Department of Printmaking is offering students access to print as a medium of artistic expression, print as a cultural phenomenon allows to connect the historical dimension, the technical development and the influence the medium print and its current reappearance as digital matrix on the construction of our reality.

Recent discoveries move the creation of the first print to a past before the appearance of the homo sapiens sapiens. It seems that the desire to leave a mark in this world and to reproduce a likeliness of oneself even drove the Neanderthals to create prints.

From these humble beginnings we see with the innovation of the paper and the development of print on paper a revolution to culture, society and economy in a still not fully appreciated way. Just ask the question how the world would look today if print would never have been invented.

Maybe we would not have a reason to talk about the Anthropocene and would be far away from global warming or the ability to destroy the very planet we live on.

Or communication at least would be very different. 

For communication and for the development of our culture, print was almost like the air we breath. And while we do not think too much about the air when we breath, we tended to not thin too much about print when reading the newspaper, looking at reproduced art or think about the message of a poster.

Today in a time of post digital print the can do without the „analog“ print and so we have a chance to rethink what print did to us und our world and how we can use the insight to shape the future.

Fine Art as the imitation and copy of nature, the cheap reproduction of the creation has created a culture and world on its own and we might see print to move on to become the tool to actually create and reproduce life itself.

Starting form the experience in the printmaking studio, we aim to form an interdisciplinary forum for artistic research into the printed world.

Michael W. Schneider, Tokyo 2022