Re-Present: An international interactive studio collaboration

"Communicative action can be understood as a circular process in which the actor is two things in one: an initiator, who masters situations through actions for which he is accountable, and a product of the transitions surrounding him, of groups whose cohesion is based on solidarity to which he belongs, and of processes of socialization in which he is reared."-- Jurgen Habermas

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -- Paulo Freire

"There is no mystery to making history." -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

Since 9/11 there has been a pall in regards to creating a critical dialogue engaging free speech vs. homeland security. The media has assumed the role of public relations officer simply reflecting and reiterating our national foreign policy instead of fostering discourse. Any hint of criticism is nearly considered sedition. This proposal is meant to illustrate a process of redefining and a potential shifting of "traditional" avenues of information. We propose to use readily available technology to re-channel the direction of information from mega-corporate centralized mediated information capitols to a decentralized community-based series of networks. Our goals are to process and reprocess information as individuals that are members of separate communities and yet bound by technology, to democratize and amplify individual voices cross-culturally and globally. We have invited various artists to open their homes, studios, and/or institutions to the communities to which they respectively (and respectfully) belong, allowing members of the community access to technology. They will be assisted in articulating their own story through the digital media, while we at the Boston point of the network will be using both the digital and traditional printmaking process to foster our end of the dialogue.

During a 24-hour period between April 2 and April 5, 2003, an international network will be created for the electronic exchange of text and imagery. Through the use of email, fax or other communicative devices, this free transmission and reception of information will be put in motion by groups or individuals operating as hubs located around the planet. One such station will be in place in Boston at the 2003 Southern Graphics Council Conference. There we will receive, manipulate, combine, process and reproduce through traditional print media any incoming data. These serigraphs, monoprints, linocuts, transfers etc. will be digitized and transmitted back through the network for further manipulations and exchanges among hub members and their communities.

In order to address the issues of entitlement, empowerment, privilege and the elitism of our tradition, all hub participants are asked to enlist members of their local community to participate in this exchange. Most welcome is the inclusion of those silenced or marginalized by lack of access to technology, individuals not considered to be artists (or to be "creative") by others or themselves, and those who may not have realized their ability to effect cultural change or augmentation. In collaboration with GC&SU faculty and students, the Boston hub will involve random conference attendees in the development and creation of the hand-pulled prints, of which they may then take physical ownership.

Through this project we deny geopolitical divisions and promote a decentrilized and democratic experience in which leadership and responsibility rest with each participant, all freely sharing in the control, outcome and ownership of the media. Presently we have received enthusiastic responses for participation from Indonesia, China, Canada, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Japan, Brazil and several US locations. We will continue to solicit involvement especially from countries typically seen or portrayed as "unfriendly" with regard to US interests, Cuba and North Korea e.g.

To encourage involvement from the widest possible community base, participants will be asked to consider, but are not limited to the conference host1s list of proposed themes when choosing data for transmission. We believe the very act of participating in such a project is a political act, and we hope through the nature of this proposed "communicative action" to be exemplary of many of the conference themes, including:

The contemporary use of the print as political expression.

Revolution in the print idiom caused by new technologies.

The representation of remote constituencies.

How electronic representation conditions the making or communication of images.

The new history of multi-media and installation; the changing functions of space and image.

Facilities needed at the conference site for 24 continuous hours:

* Internet/email access

* Fax machine(s)

* Print studio access

William Fisher, Richard Lou, and members of the GC&SU Fine Arts Faculty.

February 1, 2003

Dear Artist,

We are writing to invite your participation in an event held in conjunction with the Boston 2003 Southern Graphics Council Conference. Our accepted Proposal to the Conference Hosts (posted above) outlines an international e-collaboration to take place over a 24-hour period, 5:00 PM EST Tursday April 3 through 5:00 PM Friday April 4, 2003. All that is needed to participate is access to the internet, email, and/or a fax machine for a few hours. If other modes of electronic replication and communication (a scanner, digital camera e.g.) are available, they are welcome. The proposal involves the use of remote hubs around the world with individuals transferring information among this hub network using the available technology. A website will be in place where all participants will have the ability to upload and download image files. We will staff a 24-hour hub in Boston using incoming text and imagery in a conglomorate fashion to make silkscreen prints, transfers, etc. which will then be scanned or digitally photographed and sent back out through the network. We hope to raise thoughts on the decentrilization of information, democracy, entitlement, empowerment through communication, and the distribution of authorship. If you have ideas on hub participants (hubbers? hubbies? huboteurs?) in your homeland/hometown/home or far from home, please let us know. Students, staff, administrators, friends, family and strangers are all invited, and if you would like to participate as a solo hub member by faxing/emailing information during the conference dates, that would be very welcome as well.

Please see the proposed themes*** mentioned in the Call for Proposals below. These would be the suggested themes for our hub-station participants around the world, and may be interpreted loosely. In most cases, the word "print" may be omitted from these proposed themes to expand on their meanings and to encourage your participation. I know your input would add greatly to this project, and whether it be a few minutes to send an email or several longer periods throughout the 24 hours, any participation at all is more than welcome. Please feel free to publicly post this information, and contact Bill Fisher with any questions at Anyone interested will receive specific details on the project and periodic updates.

Thank you for your time, all the best to you,

The Arts Faculty of Georgia College & State University Department of Art
Georgia College & State University
CBX 094
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone: (478) 445-4572
Fax: (478) 445-6088

Call for Proposals from the conference hosts (Boston University)

To All SGC Members:

CALL FOR PROPOSALS Southern Graphics Council Annual Conference


Next year's conference theme is inspired by Boston's history. Boston is known worldwide as the seat of the American Revolution and the struggle for freedom and representation in the American States. The theme of revolution suggests new models for the future and sociopolitical change. Representation involves communication, empowerment, and the transfer of information. The scope of these concepts now extends beyond the US to the international community. We invite you to present proposals treating the themes of Revolution and Representation broadly. Some considerations:

***Proposed Themes

>* the ongoing involvement of the print in issues of social justice worldwide

>* contemporary use of the print as political expression

>* revolution in the print idiom caused by new technologies

>* the representation of remote constituencies

>* how electronic representation conditions the making or communication of images

>* sociological or structural changes in the print community resulting from electronic representation

>* ways in which new or expanded histories are created, and the alteration of historical perception

>* questions of geopolitical division and production in the laser-print era

>* the new history of multi-media and installation ...the changing functions of space and image issues of representation in education

Post-project Announcements:

Re-Present Participants,

It is with great pleasure that I write to those of you who participated in the Re-Present project. It was an honor to be able to work with all of you and I thought of all of you as I sat in front of my computer -doing the things we love - making images - with people that share that love. Every time the screen became blurry and my head would droop and the trillionth lower case "n" would appear on my screen from my sleeping finger resting on the keyboard - I would remember all of you and how we were connected and you showed your committment, your Corazon, and that was inspiring and I wanted you to know that you were supported and how I was not alone. During those drowsy, sleep-wake times I would feel a surge of energy sensing the power of our collective as we strove to redirect the media juggernaut from the centers and back to the hands of the people, if ever so briefly yet importantly and historically. Thank you for letting me be a part of your art-making.

Yours in Peace,

Richard A. Lou
Professor of Art
Chair - Art Department
Georgia College & State University
Blackbridge Hall
CBX 094
Milledgeville, GA. 31061

Dear Re-Presenters,

We've completed our project, our rejection of isolation, domination and destruction, a celebration of cooperation, collaboration and creation. Before we even officially began yesterday at 5:00 pm, 30 images had been uploaded to the website, and several faxes and emails were being exchanged. Throughout the 24 hours which followed, hundreds of images and messages and millions of ideas have been freely offered for discussion, appropriation and shared ownership.

Your work has been enthusiastically received here in Boston, where over 1000 artists, students, friends and art educators have gathered for the Southern Graphics Council annual conference. Our hub has been downloading and combining your information into hundreds of silkscreen prints, which are now displayed at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Photographs will be posted within a few days to our website. Your work will then travel back with us to Georgia College & State University for display.

Thank you all greatly. We'll be in touch soon.

Bill Fisher
Assistant Professor of Art
Georgia College & State University
Blackbridge Hall
CBX 094
Milledgeville, GA. 31061

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