Barbara Zeigler
Associate Professor
UBC Printmedia Research Centre Supervisor
Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory
University of British Columbia
6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, V6T 1Z2
Telephone: 604-822-5991

Paper: “Shifts in Print Practice and Critical Discourse: The Collaborative Potential of Digital Technologies in the Pedagogy of Interdisciplinary-Based Print Media”

Assisting in the renewal and contemporizing of the discipline of printmaking, digital technologies are beginning to transform print practice and pedagogy, and afford opportunities to greatly increasing communication, collaboration, and critical discourse among print artists, educators, and students world wide.

We live in an age increasingly dominated by visual rather than oral or textural media, in which the cultural and social role of images is central. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of work being produced in the discipline of printmaking, printmaking is now positioned to be a major and expanding area of research within the curriculum of art departments, capable of bridging aspects of a large array of historical and contemporary modes of visual expression and theoretical discourse.

As the media specific boundaries of print, photographic and digital practices are increasingly blurring, a merging of theoretical concerns is beginning to occur. With many visual and conceptual possibilities at hand, as educators we must work to bolster the level of discourse concerning print within the print, photographic, and digital imaging triad still prevalent within many educational programs. One way to assist in this process is to begin to form new types of teaching collaborations on national and international levels.

Print department websites could begin to be seen as critical to educators in assisting students in better understanding the relevance today of print culture within visual culture. Through actively seeking to bolster the level of critical discussion related to print, as well as general interest in print, such “sites of exchange” could become vitally important resources in fostering links and collaborative undertakings among institutions over wide geographical regions. In the context of opening up new avenues for innovative image production, cultural critique, and pedagogical collaboration on a worldwide level, these and other related topics are to be discussed.

BARBARA ZEIGLER is an artist and Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is Deputy Head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, and Supervisor of the UBC Printmedia Research Centre that she founded in 2002.  She received her BFA in Painting and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Illinois (Urbana). Additionally, she studied in Munich, Germany at the Akademie der bildenden Kuenste and the Universitaet Muenchen. In Canada she has also taught at the University of Alberta, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Queen's University, and in the USA at the University of Illinois. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally. She has special accomplishment in print media areas of etching, lithography, and digital imaging, and in drawing, photography, and installation art. Most recently (2005) her work has been included in the “Wrexham Print International,” Wales, UK, and in (2004) in the “Environment Art Expo KOREA,” Seoul, and in “Out of Wildfire,’’ Banff, Canada.  Furthering her understanding of the relationship between the evolving culture and ecosphere has been paramount to Zeigler's endeavors for over 30 years. During the 80s, she completed and exhibited widely the “Precarious Balances Series of Prints and Drawings.” In “Earthmakers,” a major collaborative project undertaken with Joan Smith in the 1990’s, a series of print installations, and sound, video, sculptural and book works, were produced and exhibited. In 1999-2000, as a community-based collaborative art project, Zeigler created an award-winning 8ft x 18ft ceramic mural titled  "Tribute to the Ecosphere." Most recently Zeigler has been working on integrating digital technology into printmaking practice. Awarded three UBC/HSS Large Grants since 2001, she is currently producing a series of print works and video installations confronting issues of ecological degradation in British Columbia marine habitats.