U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | chacun a son gum

chacun a son gum

On Mon, 30 Oct 2006, Katharine Thayer wrote:

We need a T-shirt or something. "Crappy and Happy," maybe. Judy could take a picture of it to add to her collection.
Actually, that's not the T-shirt I have in mind... which might be more like "Apples and Oranges" or .... possibly just a dictionary definition of "crap" (like several of the political T-shirts that had riffs on dictionary definitions of "Fascism").

The point that is possibly missed here is that the number of possible approaches to gum printing is infinite... something like the number of pigments plus paint brands multiplied by gum arabic vintages and forms (commercial, preserved, powder, "tears," etc.) times hardeners, plus basic paper types,weights and finishes, cubed.

I myself wouldn't care to curve a neg for any/all. But the point that's relevant may be that basically PRINTING gum seems to come in two basic styles... one is the printer who wants to standardize, who knows what she wants her print to look like in advance and seeks the most reliable way to get there. The other is the way I myself seem to do gum -- I don't know what I want the print to look like until I see what it's going to look like, that is, what's actually happening and what that suggests as I print, which is to say, events in the print tend to inspire its direction. This is in a way like painting -- you work interactively -- look at what you've done and decide what to do next.

I suspect that former painters (as I am) would be most comfortable with that approach. I suspect that folks who came to gum printing through photography, which in most processes has an ordained technique and effect, wouldn't go so loosely, at least not at first. I would also expect (from zero experience) that the PDN negative would work better for the second type of gum printer, but might cramp the style of the first type, should she ever try it, which she might not.

Finally, however, I hereby declare that it is incumbent on Mr. Sandy King once and for all to define CRAP. I myself define crap in terms of kitsch, or what I consider kitsch, that is, bad kitsch, not good kitsch.... heh heh heh, but come on Sandy.... name no names but .... what are the parameters? (I do of course agree about judging art from the monitor, except possibly for what Clement Greenberg would have called "the narrative content.")

OK, enough said... I'm just glad to be able to enhance this discussion after two days puzzling over a dead mouse. (I could use a dead mouse in my kitchen closet where the glue traps with peanut butter are likely to catch only me, but.... what a pain it was until diagnosed here.)