The digital matrix and the paperless print.
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This paper examines, from the perspective of a critically engaged practioner within the context of contemporary fine art printmaking practice, the concept of a “digital matrix” and the consequent “paperless print”. It identifies that “digital printmaking” is a definition that can encompass both material and non-material manifestations of the fine art print when set against developments in presentation technologies and subsequent increased demands from the digital cultural consumer. The implications of de-materialisation and subsequent shifts of the print art object from the physical to temporal are considered in the light of the challenges they present. The inherent implications for the practioner and their perception of practice are examined in the light of the printmaker / artist now having access to new forms of expression which no longer rely on physicality. The paper further suggests that the adopted mechanisms of establishing and maintaining “authenticity” of the de-materialised print art object must be commensurate with the complexities of digital practice; collaboration, partnership, duplication, authenticity and interpretation, and are evolved from ethical considerations of conduct, and the spirit of “creative commons” which are perhaps more akin to musical and performance arts than traditional visual art.