Ane Thon Knutsen

Ane was trained in graphic design at Oslo national Academy of the arts and has been working as a freelancer. She is part of establishing Fellesverkstedet, an open production facility for artists and designers in Oslo.

Ane´s artistic research project is an exploration of tactility in printed matter. She will research this subject through combinations of analog and digital techniques for making printing blocks. During the project she will produce a collection of physical collateral and processes that will serve as reference books for practical experience and tactile expression. Will she through this work contribute to the conceptualization and understanding of the interface between the analog and the digital?

This is an artistic research that examines the significance and understanding of the tactile aspects of graphic design. Tactility, in result, process and education, has largely been abandoned and undervalued during the digital revolution. New technologies have been developed, but meant for limited applications. Screen-based work is generic and represents the absence of tactility.

The aim for this project is to achieve a deeper understanding of the role tactility plays in printed graphic design today. When the practitioners’ tactile experience is no longer a part of the design process, which consequences will this have on printed matter in the future? Which potentials do tactile means and processes have to provide multiple layers of communication? The project seeks to find insight and awareness of the manual production process. The significance it has on the creative process, and the quality of the finished result. Ane´s aim is to contribute to the discussion about how graphic designers work, and how we want to work when performing printed matter.

The way she can acquire a deeper understanding of the subject is to physically explore combinations and possibilities in the workshops, combined with reflection. The method she has developed is to work in layers, back and forth between analog and digital techniques, combining hand borne knowledge with digital tools, treating all tools as equal. Ane typically works with laser cutters and CNC-mills combined with letterpress. This makes her able to push the materials physical limitations and try to move the orginial constraints by using digital tools.

The artistic outcome of the project will be a collection of printed matter and visualization of important processes. Thematically she discusses tactility, as tactility is a tacit, bodily and to some extent poetic subject. It is hard to put into words, but has the quality of being a language one can understand outside/inside the verbal world. This challenge may be met in combining the artistic work with the critical reflection, as a part of the final result.