My name is Patrick and in this blog I'd like to infrequently post about a project I am working on together with a friend - portrait pictures of professional gamers and people in the industry, printed in a vintage technique called photogravure, in which the image gets etched into a copper plate.
For my first entry I'd like to bring the following video to your attention - it's a kind of follow up to a short clip the guys from Assembly TV filmed about us back at Assembly Winter 2012, which was titled "The Art of E-Sport". We, that is Valerie Schmidt and me, have been shooting portraits of players at Assembly Winter 2012 in Helsinki and Dreamhack Eizo Open Stockholm - working rather old-fashioned, shooting with a Hasselblad in B/W.
Right from the earliest plans of this project it was clear that we wanted the photographs printed as photogravures, a technique developed between 1850-70, in which the image is etched into a copper plate. A rather laborious procedure that was already outdated by the 1920s and is nowadays only used for fine art projects - it seemed perfect to juxtapose E-Sports with the analog charme of photogravures.
I finally got the first 17 plates done last month, and was fortunate enough to have a friend come over to the printshop for a few days to film the making of a photogravure. It's 9min 38sec, so prepare your attention spans:
And yes, that's Taeja in the SlayerS outfit - we apparently have the skill to photograph players right before they change teams (Taeja, sLivko, Thorzain, Stephano, Elfi, Brat_OK, etc). Since we filmed plate making after proof printing, the plate I am printing is the one showing Hero.
It's printed in a process called "Chine collé", in which a thin sheet of Asian paper is laminated on a thicker backing sheet - the fine but strong papers from Japan, China and Korea manage to pick up more details from the plate than the thicker European papers do. Koreans OP also in the paper trade, I'm afraid.
Now that the first set of plates is made, I'll be spending the next months printing the final, clean prints for our upcoming exhibitions. We'll show the prints in Helsinki first, around the time of Assembly Winter 2013, and Berlin after that. But we'll let you know about those events in good time, until then I'll try to post updates and finished prints here when possible.
See more of the photos we shot here:
Oh, and assuming that I still have your attention I'd like to use this moment to thank
BlinG, Brat_OK, Cloud, Delphi, Elfi, Genius, Happy, Hero, HyuN, JYP, Kas, Mana, Najzmaiz, Nerchio, NightEnD, PhoeNix, Polt, Puma, Real, SeleCT, SjoW, Socke, Stephano, Strelok, Taeja, ThorZain, Titan, TLO, Welmu, White-Ra, Khaldor, MrBitter, Apollo; Semmler, Kaelaris, Robin 'Bumblebee' Nymann, Artem 'Fairon' Bykov, Petri 'Procyon' Hämäläinen and Wabbit for all the Assembly love, Greykarn and Frenys for opening the DH doors for us, Carmac for doing the same IEM-wise, even though we haven't managed to make it to one yet, basically all the Assembly and DH staff for being super amazing, 2GD and the twitch.tv player lounge, Martin the Masseur, Soe Suppy Fuzer Sofie SortOf Bishu Livezerg Sase Xenophics and many more for afterparty fun. I hope I didn't forget anyone - and if, it's entirely to blame on my bad memory, not because you're not damn awesome.
Valerie Schmidt is a photographer from Berlin, Germany. She's freelancing for magazines like Neon and Nido, when not pursuing her own projects.
Patrick Wagner – I'm a printmaker based in Helsinki, Finland. Working for a couple of Finnish and International artists, printing their works. Sometimes I even get to do my own stuff.
Starcraft2 art project worth at least 10min of your time