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The work of Carolyn Craig and Caren Florance is discussed in this paper as part of a wave of Australian feminist printmakers that utilise new technologies and transgressive approaches to expand print practice as sites of resistance. For both artists, the materiality of the copy/trace provides a mirrored scalpel to interrogate our current cultural landscape of duplication/expansion from a perspective of printed matters’ historical conditions of production. The artists consider how the digital arena replicates processes of print media in its historical legacies as a reproductive force. They draw parallels between contemporary spaces of formation and traditional studio materiality to use the conceptual basis of print to examine gender and power. Two projects are discussed, Craig’s ‘The Voice’ project (2019/20) and Caren’s ‘Line Work’ (2019). Both these projects use the copy matrix in a variety of expanded formations to interrogate the multivalence of voice as a prism of gendered protocols, biological trace and infringement device. They each examine linguistic phrases that demean, insult and exclude the female gender in social spaces. These phrases are interrogated as devices of control over Othered subjectivities. The artists make powers’ linguistic devices visible through aesthetic forms that force a reflexive consideration over the viewer. They use print-based protocols to draw out what we no longer see, what we choose to accept, ignore, avoid and allow.
Conceptual works by both artists are discussed in relation to the historical legacy of printmaking as an agent of change (Eisenstein 1980) and its performative use as a transgressive archive (Derrida 1995).