Two of our brilliant and talented students were posed with the problem of designing our schools holiday card this year. They were not to use any items that are symbolic to specific religions but instead to use imagery that is generically “winter-related.”
Cut to the DAL (our schools Digital Art Lab), the AP art students were goofing around with our new flatbed scanner a Canon 9000F. They were putting items onto the flatbed scanner and photographing them. Some of these items were hair, pens, papers, keys, fabric, and even their faces.
This process is known in the photography world as scanography (or scannography):
History of scanography
The process of creating art with a scanner can be as simple as arranging objects on the scanner and capturing the resulting image; in fact, some early artists in the field worked withphotocopiers to capture and print in a single step, resulting in the field of Xerox art. Artist Sonia Landy Sheridan, artist in residence at 3M and founder of the Generative Systemsprogram at the Art Institute of Chicago was one of the first to exploit this ability in 1968, altering the variables of the photocopying process to produce artwork rather than mere copies. Though the physical process of arranging objects on a glass platen to capture a photogram is shared by both “Xerox” artists and “scanographers”, regarding image quality- scanner photography has more in common with large format photography. The process records extremely fine detail with a rather shallow depth of field and produces a digital file (or “digital negative”) for printmaking.
The two students assigned to create the holiday card decided that they would scan in a bunch of items and use them for the design. The next day they brought in scarves, mittens, hats, mugs, marshmallows, candies, and more. They spent the afternoon scanning the objects in. I then helped them to place these images into an Adobe Indesign document with the letters overlapping the objects. They arranged the letters and adjusted their size. Here is their final design, coming to a mailbox near you!