John T. Haworth
Honorary Research Fellow,
Department of Fine Arts, and Research Associate (part time),
Department of Psychology,
Manchester Metropolitan University,
Manchester MI3 0JA United Kingdom
Telephone and Fax: (0) 1254 51678.

Paper: “Vibrant Transience: an Embodied Lens for Digital Printmaking”

This paper draws on grants received from the Arts and Humanities Research Board in the United Kingdom for practice-based research into “Creativity and Embodied Mind in Digital Fine Art.”

The digital print medium, with its fine surface quality and potential to incorporate and transmute imagery, is particularly attractive as a conduit for the idea of vibrant transience. This is explored while probing the pixels and listening to the voices emanating from the medium. A log is kept of both the technical and thought processes involved, and notes made on the interaction with the medium, and on the development of the work and emergent meanings. The work has been exhibited internationally. Working with the computer provides enormous freedom for exploration. In the process of interaction with the digital medium artists can apply constraints, intuitively or otherwise. Merleau-Ponty in the “Phenomenology of Perception” argues that the body has its world or understands its world without having to use its symbolic objectifying function, ‘ perceive is to render oneself present to something through the body’ and ‘consciousness is in the first place not a matter of “I think”, but of “I can” (p 137). Meaning is not found pre-existent in the world, but called into existence by bodily activity, with inter-subjectivity resulting from the communality of the body. This constitutes an embodied lens for interacting with the world.

This paper will discuss digital fine art printmaking focusing on the evolving idea of vibrant transience viewed through an embodied lens influenced by the populist nature of the multiple, and the intersubjective experiences of freedom and constraint. Examples of the prints will be shown at the open portfolio exhibition.

JOHN T. HAWORTH fine art prints have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Examples can be seen at Printmaking is his chosen medium because of the potential it offers for the exciting exploration of delicate surface properties. This resonates with his interest in the transient moment. His research on creativity and the embodied mind draws on his experience in psychology and his practice and training in fine art. In October 2002 he was an invited member of a panel discussing “Research into Art and Technology” at the Fourth Creativity and Cognition Conference at Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. In November 2002 he organized a seminar and exhibition at the Deluxe Gallery, London, as part of his research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board in the UK. Material from this is on the website A DVD of the research project has been made, which can be obtained at cost, plus packaging and post. In August 2003 he presented a paper on embodied mind, technology and creativity in digital printmaking in a panel on ‘Dot Matrix: New Theoretical Challenges’ at the 3rd Impact International Printmaking Conference in CapeTown, South Africa. In April 2005 he organized a workshop in London on ‘Freedom and Constraint in the Creative Process in Digital Fine Art’ at which the following paper was presented: Haworth, J.T., Gollifer, S., Faure-Walker, J., Coldwell, P., Kemp,T., and Pengelly, J.(2005) “Freedom and Constraint in the Creative Process in Digital Fine Art” Proceedings of the Creativity and Cognition Conference 2005, Goldsmiths College, London, UK pp 310-317.