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Peter Milton: the satisfaction of elaboration in a digital world.

'Tracking Shot' (detail). Click to enlarge.

By PETER MILTON [from his website] – Tracking Shot, named after the filming technique of tracking alongside the subject of a scene while it is being filmed, is the first of three prints in a new series of 23″ x 36” etchings, to be part of a set I am calling Sight Lines.

With Tracking Shot I have entered the digital world. The making of my collage/etching/engraving pieces has become so complex that I have often found myself hostage to the actual process of execution. Since my greatest motivation for a new piece tends to be solving the unresolved aspects of the previous piece, I find I can’t simplify without destroying my whole modus operandi. I have to defer to the reality that elaboration is what I do best, what I want to do and where I still find the most profound satisfaction.

To my relief the Adobe software to which I turned, was surprisingly close to the invention of layers, transparent sheets and imported references I had myself devised back in 1970 for the Henry James piece, The Jolly Corner Suite.  And it is turning out that Photoshop, with the fabled fiendishness of its learning curve, was actually created for the mind-set of wily, ruthless strategist-printmakers like me all along.  Aware of Photoshop’s curse as an easy enabler of the facile, I see that its blessing is its startling depth as a refinement tool, and I find that I have slipped into a parallel universe.  (I am deliberately burying the memories of groans and shrieks that were all to be heard emerging from my studio in that first universe for weeks on end.)

I must confess that my own worst personal adversary remains the computer itself, whose intimidating depths of esoterica, of importing/exporting, its totally irresponsible willingness to bloody crash and its empathy-challenged indifference to just anything involving me just finding things, remain so stubbornly elusive to a septuagenarian brain, it is a mystery to me how I could ever have taken to the Adobe program with such sang froid.

But the computer part turned out only to be the beginning and it has taken ten months struggling to work out the intaglio plate making…

From a SOURCE NOTE: The two conversing men—both James Joyce. The older, much-feted Joyce of the post-Ulysses Paris years, is arguing with a younger Trieste Joyce, who is still trying to work the tangle of his Ulysses novel out. This vignette is a hidden reference to the 2004 Bloomsday festival in Dublin where I saw a private viewing of a 2004 Ulysses film (Bloom), and have been mentally arguing with Sean Walsh, the director, about the Nausicca scene ever since.

Continued at Peter Milton‘s website | More Chronicle & Notices.

How to Propose a New Notice.

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