(Some) Independence from Technology

Technology is great and it makes life easier, but consider for a moments that it may makes us lose connections with life giving sources. For instance, most of us that live in cities have become completely disconnected with our food economy. How food is  grown, where food is consumed, and how it affects us and our environment are all points that don’t cross the average person’s mind. If I think about taking away the technological infrastructure of something as basic as food consumption, I can begin to imagine a community created around and supporting a localized food production system that relies less on mechanized forms of growth and delivery and more on the power of people. Coop farming and gardening has brought great things to small struggling communities. The more common ideas a community shares, the closer they become, right? Could some technologies that claim to bring us together really be pushing us apart?

I also see communication as a life-giving source. Communications help share information and form the identity of a community. It can benefit and enhance the lives of few or many. Let us look at the models of communication that are at our fingertips, those models that rely heavily on technology. It seems that mass communications outlets have used technology to attain goals of increased advertising dollars more than provide the basic goal of informing people. Do technologically driven models of communication really have the community’s interests at heart? Maybe, if they are people driven (some blogs and not for profit websites for example) Does the speed and ease of accessibility to media outweigh the costs to the community? If the communication industry of a certain community is littered with commercial technologically driven models of communication, then how can information maintain a clarity that truly enhances one’s life, allowing people to build unfettered community mentalities? So rather than plugging into to technology to send our messages, Hotoff press uses more of an analogue approach. Whatever the print may be (an image, a news article or a history briefing), Hotoff’s goal is to use the community as an inspiration. Its goal is to have the print truly enhance the community through selfless acts of kindness and giving of information.


Mobility and the Print

When I ask myself what features the bicycle and print have in common, the first answer that I have is mobility. Some of the first bicycles were referred to as freedom machines. With this form of man powered mobilization, generations of people have enjoyed the notions of freedom the bicycle has so long symbolized. It has, for many centuries, transported us from one place to another with speed and efficiency at the low cost of our own energy. I find it to be a respected and valued form of transportation (more so in some communities than others). I think back to a trip I took to Copenhagen, Denmark, where there is specialized infrastructure for commuting cyclists, complete with traffic signals that give the cyclist priority over gas guzzling autos.

For me, it is the speed and efficiency that makes cycling a freeing and empowering experience. Because these qualities of speed and efficiency can also be found in printmaking, I find the notion of mobility forges connections between printmaking and cycling.

Printmaking has mobilized information since its inception. In fact, speed and efficacy are the qualities that have historically made printmaking the ideal medium for the spread of information. Just as bicycles are a form of man powered mobilization so is printmaking. Prints have legs too. Prints move about as people move about. Hotoff Press is definitely looking to the relationship between the print and the bicycle to define its objectives. Simply put, to mobilize interesting and useful information to people through mostly man powered means.


It's a new year

It is very exciting to be in  2011. There are lots of great things that are happening this year 1) southern graphics council conference in our very own St. Louis!, 2) trip to fort collins colorado in April, and 3) new projects (always new projects).
Ending 2010 was very demanding and Hotoff has felt the pain of being on the back burner, but she is about to kick off some printing with photos to hopefully come sooner than later. Check back soon and see what we have been up to!!! Happy New Year everyone.


MOre PaRTs and DONE!

So, in the past week I have made yet another trip to Bicycle Works, fell in love with a really sweet cruiser while there and finished building the bike portion of this project. AHhh... #1 on to do list, done! Three  to go.


Mobile Silkscreen Cart

Printervention is a traveling exhibition that showcased a Mobile silkscreen cart. Check out an article on Printeresting. http://www.printeresting.org/tag/printervention. I love the idea of taking the print out of the studio and into a new and different environment. I think it not only stimulates new ideas but it also matriculates existing ones. From what I gather, the cart is a design of Mike Slattery.



Definitely check out the Papergirl bike project in Berlin. It is growing and should totally come to The Lou.  Cool Hunting has a pretty good article on the project and it also tells you how to get involved.

If you love prints and bikes you'll love this project. It is basically a group of people focused on bringing free art to the people of Berlin (and other cities) via bike.

Although, Hotoff's goals are focused on free local news and the performative act of printing, Papergirl has been a great influence over the past week or so.