Sue Gollifer
Principal Lecturer in Fine Art Printmaking
University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts and Architecture,
Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY

Paper: “Digital Creativity: Crossing Borders and Boundaries”

The values and meaning associated with the roles of the ‘artist/printmaker’ and the ‘audience’ are experiencing profound challenges and undergoing substantial shifts within a wider contemporary discourse. In part, this is a direct result of the growth of digital technologies and the increasing digitisation of our daily lives. Plus the ongoing process of globalisation, which is reshaping the world's social, political, economic, cultural and artistic landscape.

The use of digital imaging makes this an exciting, challenging, and innovative time to be an artist/printmaker. It also encourages a major revaluation of printmaking processes in general. Opening up new areas of global collaborative exchange and new means of communication.

In this paper/panel, I am going to discuss how as a printmaker, an academic and a curator, digitisation has had an increasingly profound effect on my research practice. I will illustrate this with examples of work from the most recent digital art exhibitions that I have curated, both in the UK, Russia and USA in 2004 - 5. These exhibitions submitted totally ‘online’, without the constraints of time and space, allow for the transmission of images from across the globe, breaking down the physical border constraints and allowing for planetary transactions Thereby stimulating the renegotiations of societal relationships.

It is now ten years since I conceived of the original idea of ArCade, the UK’s Open International Exhibition of Electronic Prints. My initial intention behind the exhibition was to demonstrate to art and design academics and students the potential of using new technology to create, on the one hand a new print medium and on the other a hybrid link between both old and new technology. In the early 1990s, when I saw this potential, there was little evidence of shows or articles to which students could refer. Since then significant advances have been made in the area of computer generated imagery. It has now developed into a printmaking medium in its own right. It is also used in other hybrid forms, to create links with more traditional print processes, thus allowing a bridge to develop between old and new technology. The most recent ArCade IV travelled extensively throughout the UK and Denmark in 2003-4. A major retrospective of ArCade was held in the State Museum in Novorsibirsk, Siberia in April 2005.

In August 2004, as Art Gallery Chair’04 I curated the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Show Synaesthesi, held at the Los Angeles Convention Centre, USA. The exhibition showed work by visionary artists in all areas of digital art that stimulated the senses, including 2D, 3D, interactive techniques, installations, multimedia, telecommunications, screen-based work, and computer animation. The viewers to the Art Gallery were encouraged to see, hear, and touch the art. This Exhibition demonstrated the potential of how new technology blurs the distinction between the various areas of fine art and offers radical opportunities for new artistic practice.

SUE GOLLIFER is a Principal lecturer in Fine Art - Printmaking in School of Arts and Communication, in the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Brighton, UK and the Course Leader, Postgraduate in Digital Media Arts. She has been a professional artist - printmaker for over 30 years, exhibiting her work regularly throughout the world and her work is held in major international public collections. She is an early pioneer as a computer artist and her work can be seen in the Digital Art Museum DAM ( Her primary research is on 'the impact of new technology within the practice of Fine Art’ and she has presented a number of evaluative and analytical papers on this subject at major international conferences. Gollifer has also been significantly involved in the conference group Computers in Art & Design Education (CADE), since its inception in 1995, and she is presently Vice-Chair of that group. She has been curator for a number of exhibitions, which have accompanied the CADE biennial conference - ArCade I, II, III, & IV, the British International Open International Exhibitions of Digital Fine Art Prints', GAMUT and BitStream. All of these exhibitions have received widespread international recognition, and have toured extensively throughout the UK and Russia. In 2004 she was appointed the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Chair for 2004, the 31st International Conference on Computer Graphics and Techniques, held in Los Angeles, USA. She is on a number a number of National and International Committees, including a Director of DACS, Design and Artist Copyright Society, UK; the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) -Visual Arts; CAA, College Arts Association, USA – Professional Practices Committee. She is on the Editorial Board of Digital Creativity, a refereed journal, and the assistant editor and curator of the visual section "Artist Space", which examines the work of international artists and printmakers using digital technology. She has made valuable worldwide contacts through her activities, and has contributed to the development of an international community of artists and scholars with a shared interest in new technology and printmaking.