2024 Emerging Artist Exhibition – Kaitlin Crockett

Artist Statement

In the post-digital age, infinite screens extend far beyond paper’s reach, providing unfettered access to information, while AI promises to increase our efficiency and productivity. Yet we are fragmented, distracted, and overworked.
My work in printmaking directly opposes society’s fixation on toxic productivity and manufactured exhaustion, shifting print media from mass produced commodity to art object. The processes I use are an act of resistance. Letterpress and Risograph are incredibly time-consuming and often tedious. They do not reap large profits nor offer power or prestige. Instead, these laborious processes directly oppose the systems that exploit the worker and artist like machines: wood type inked with a brayer, a stack of sheets hand-fed to the press, then collated, cut, and bound by my two hands, returned to my own flesh.
“We do not work for the machine”, an edition of 120 Letterpress and Risograph prints, is repeated in a grid installation that mimics the repetitive nature of the printing process and society’s focus on machine-like productivity. The found text came from a hand-written note taped in a Florida rest stop staff window -presumably in response to endless vending machine misfires- and here becomes a call to action to reclaim the means of production from ‘the machine’. Test prints are repurposed into sculptural accordion books, as letterforms become graphic objects. Similarly, hand-cut and collaged Risograph prints from “Family Photo Album” transform the wooden type case from dusty antique to an adorned archival object. “Stack” is an installation of 777 printed folios made from test prints and project waste, stacked and encased in a Lucite pedestal. Here, printed matter becomes an intangible sculpture that questions its place in the very institutions, like the fine art world, that it, by nature, exists to reject.

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