a cooperative project about professional Starcraft2 Players with Patrick Wagner.
We're taking portrait photographs of professional Starcraft2 players at the events they compete in. The photos are then turned into an edition of copperplate photogravures and printed by hand.
By creating (analog and slow) photogravures, we want to create something like a counterpart of the digital world, the players are usually hidden in.
Photogravure was invented by Talbot in the 1850s, later improved by Klic in 1878, still done more or less the same way today. It’s an intaglio technique, which means that the ink rests only in the little holes eaten into the copper by the iron-III-chloride. A copper plate is coated with a thin layer of photosensitized gelatin.
The positive is exposed onto the gelatin (gelatin hardens where the light touches it, stays water-soluble where under black parts of positive) and then etched in a succession of iron-III-chloride baths (which gradually dissolve the gelatin and attack the copper). After the etching, the plate is cleaned and then oil-based etching ink is applied, covering the whole plate.
The ink is then carefully wiped off the plate, so that there is only ink in the etched parts – this is a very delicate process and can only be done by hand. The wiped plate is then run through an etching press, where damp mould made paper is pressed on the plate, taking out the ink from the etched areas – et voila, the print is ready! We print on a thin layer (9g/m²) of japanese gampi paper, which is delicate but very strong (due to the long fibers) and takes out even the finest details. This thin paper is backed by a thick mould made paper for stability.
Find some videos about the project here: PROGAMER - Photogravures some animated gifs about the printing process the Art of E-Sport, an interview