The Process is the Project

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 by angelarovak

My experiment tonight perfectly summarizes the intention of my final project. Tonight, I began playing with printing on standard stock printer paper, but covering sections with (not-so-sticky) tape in order to remove areas printed on to leave behind a planned image. The inspiration comes largely from Steve McCaffery’s Carnival series, with which I’ve been enamored since first encountering it earlier this semester. My initial goal was to see if I can make image impressions when the tape is pulled away, like this one:



Here, the flower was made with cut outs in packing tape placed on the page, and then using a ruler in hand to compare to the ruler supplied in Microsoft word, I typed out the filling. the word “petal” repeats in the flower and “stem” in the, well, stem. My calculations were not too precise (hence the erroneous type you can see), but I find this a successful first round experiment.

While this image and piece was my original end goal, I was surprised to be inspired by and more aesthetically interested in the tape I pulled away from the paper. With flaking letters from the laserjet printer, the tape seems delicate and ephemeral in a way the printed page does not.

petal tape


(Yes, the printed-on tape is currently sticking to my living room wall)

I have concluded that the better way to achieve my first goal would be to cut out the intended pattern on a piece of paper, lay it on top of the intended sheet (securing with bits of tape), running it through the printer, and removing the top page. That would give me the same affect of the peeling tape, but it would not leave me with such an intriguing byproduct of the process.

And now we get to the main point of my project. I intend to compose a portfolio of images inspired by both the art pieces we have encountered and the theoretical material to see how I can recreate the aesthetics or add to the conversation by engaging a variety of media and using the tool I know best: Word. Throughout the semester, as we investigated the long and complex history of communication technologies, I have thought frequently about how they are all related to this program we use most. While clearly Word isn’t my only tool for this project, which will range from copy machines, to typewriters, to scissors and paint, all of the images and experiments will begin here in one way or another. I want to see how tools of communication can be tools for art, and how that is a different form of communication. I want to see what I can, and cannot, do. But my main prerogative is not to create a set of stunning final images (although that would be nice) but to be critical of the process by which I make the item. Hence: The Process is the Project.

I am documenting my trials and errors on my own blog ( where you can see my methods and thoughts and, eventually, see the final images I land on. Right now you can pop over to see the few blog-like ramblings I have posted thus far about my experiments (in “The Process”), but the final results will be more critically engaged. Once complete, the “Results” page will feature each image and will link to a brief 500-1000 word analysis of the image via the technologies and media I have used. I hope to see how the media and machines act as much as an artist as I will, influencing the final product and its reception.


2 comments on “The Process is the Project

  1. kylebickoff says:

    Let me describe a few of the things I like about your projects:

    First, you reveal the process. I really am a fan of this. I think it both demystifies the creation, but also reveals the time, effort, and ingenuity of this amazing project.

    I like your multiple printing approaches–you print on tape, creating individual, hand crafted petals. But you also print on the page, turning the page to landscape. By printing across the page and removing the veil (tape), you ask us to focus on what is present, what has been removed, and how the process forces us to rethink the page.

    Looking forward to seeing more of this!

  2. Lori Emerson says:

    Angela, this already looks very beautiful and a very promising project – I really can’t wait to see more. I love that you’re working on an extensive archive/record of the process on a separate website. I only wonder how you’re going to work in more critical reflections in relation to what we’ve been reading in class and/or even more discussion of how this relates to Carnival or what your work revealed or didn’t reveal about Carnival? Looking forward, very much, to seeing the final product! er process…

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