Eindexamenexpositie 98 – Working process

Selected screenprinted sheets, presented as A1 size limited edition books

Screen to Screen: PPPPPP (Playful Pixels Performing Pure Printing Pleasure)
Graduation project Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Graphic design department 1994 – 1988.

Text Harmen Liemburg
Part of entry written for Questions Questions (2012), curated by Charlotte Cheetham (Manystuff)

Gif animation experiments made during intership at Oven Digital, NY.

A the end of my third year at the Rietveld academie I was ready to drop out. Although I couldn’t think of a better artschool for me in the Netherlands, I was just tired of being a student. Graphic design being my second studies (after seven years of social geography/cartography at Utrecht University), and at the age of 31, I was looking for the real deal.

One of my teachers, Mieke Gerritzen, advised me to do an internship abroad, enabling me to focus on one thing only, and contemplate my future. I went to New York’s Digital Alley, to work 3 months at Oven Digital, an office that was part of the dot-com bubble at that time. It proved to be a fruitful period.

When I came back, I knew I didn’t want to do be programming html and building gif animations. I wrote an extensive report for my teachers, who accepted me back under their wings, and started a series of weekly experiments at the school’s screenprinting shop, based on digital work made in New York. I didn’t exactely know what I was doing, but it just felt right to get my hands dirty again in the shop, playing with patterns, opaque and transparent colours, looking for ‘graphical music’.

CMYK screenprinting experiments. Detail at 100%

With the final exam getting nearer, I made some technical discoveries about colour mixing, using random halftone separations. This material enabled me to design and print that year’s graduation poster, a job traditionally granted to a graphic design student. Seeing my work throughout the city gave me a real kick. That’s where I got hooked to printing.

But the most important thing I learned those last 6 months, was to allow myself to spend enough time with the technique and materials. From being a result-oriented student, I’d begun to appreciate a working process where the outcome is open…

June 1st, 1998
, Posted in Rietveld