Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson
Robert Gordon University & Forth Valley College, Scotland.


A practising Artist, Educator and Doctoral Research Student with a professional career spanning over 30 years; Paul Thompson lives in Edinburgh, Scotland where his digital and traditional studios are located. He teaches contemporary Art Practice at Forth Valley College and is an Elected Professional Member of Visual Arts Scotland. Paul is a member of Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop, and the Scottish Artists Union. Paul’s research is part of the Cultures of Representation research group in the Creativity, Design & Innovation theme within the IDEAS Research Institute of Robert Gordon University.

Academic Paper

Walking in the Garden of Forking Paths – examining notions of ‘post-physical’ printmaking in digital space.
This paper presents findings from practice-based research, which examines notions of post-physical printmaking space through the digital medium of Augmented Reality.
Founded on questions raised through professional activities in fine art printmaking. This paper presents research which examines through contextualised artistic practice and critical enquiry how the physical and temporal parameters of digitally mediated fine art printmaking practice are being extended by developments in digital media; specifically the impact of digital culture and Augmented Reality which may lead to expanded notions of print and the possibility of ‘post-physical’ printmaking practices. It explores with specific reference to this notion of ‘post-physicality’ what impact these new modes of distribution and consumption will have on contemporary printmaking.
This paper presents current practice based research that investigates forms of digitally augmented printmaking practice, providing extended contexts for the physical print-form through image based digital augmentation: leading to new imprinted data-forms that both extend and embrace the physical spaces we inhabit and the notion of an augmented ‘post-physical’ print form. The research has employed a series of focused physical and virtual print ‘probes’ which sought to examine the underlying philosophical questions around the impact of ‘e-culture’, ‘de-materialised’ practice and emerging modes of ‘post-physical’ print-based artistic practice; set against an underlying examination of notions of indexicality within the print itself in this virtual context.
The questions this paper will explore expand arguments around, what might the physical and temporal boundaries of the digitally mediated fine art print be? What implications arise for the instigation, production, editioning, collection and ownership of post-physical’ print in the digital age? What impact will an increasingly dematerialised but networked society’s expectation play on this developing field?
NB: The paper is to be accompanied by an installation of post-physical (virtual & geolocated) prints developed through augmented reality throughout the surrounding conference environs.

Poster Presentation

The Print as Portal:  augmented reality optical/image tracking experiments
This poster presentation features “Four walks @ 55° north” are a series of 4 physical artists prints in which viewers can access the extended context of each print in digital space through Augmented Reality (AR).  The presentation examines the context beyond the physical presence of the prints. Wherein different “aura” and forms of materiality are manifest through the “larger and more diverse world of replicable, transmissible, mediated art and communication”[1] which may embody different concepts of the “material” as sensory perceptions of the art object / process.  

1.                 Barfield, N., Barfield, R., and Whale, G., Defying Convention: Emergent Practices in Digital Print, in IMPACT II  2001:Helsinki.

Open Folios

“Born Digital – New Materialities”, a digital print exchange portfolio
This print portfolio is the result of a digitally mediated open “exchange” survey, examining the notion of “printmaking 2.0”. It is part of research examining the physical and temporal parameters of post-physical print making practice through the exploration and application of digital processes in making and cultural shifts in digital participation, being undertaken by the curator/researcher at Grays School of Art – Robert Gordon University. In curating this exchange, social network platforms were used to coordinate, track and develop meaningful links with the artists. This portfolio represents a significant snapshot of the digitally mediated print works of 49 international print artists.