Work by Sabrina Haertig

  • Sabrina Haertig, B.F.A. 2022
  • Hometown

    Astoria, New York
  • Class

    ART 2301 Introduction to Print Media and ART 2501 Drawing: Contemporary Art Practice

The first images are the many proofs of Reverse Turing Test (2018) as well as the final print made in Elisabeth Meyer's Introduction to Print Media.

As a 15th-century art form, intaglio has gone pretty much unaffected by technological advancement. Many artists and our class continue to use the same tools of Rembrandt and Blake. But in other mediums, artists take advantage of technological aids such as projectors, laser cutters, and 3D printers. Just recently, a painting made by an AI program sold at a Christie's auction for $430,000. While some are frightened by the use of this technology, believing it compromises the future of the artist, I prefer seeing it as an incredible aid.

Therefore, I wanted to make a piece regarding these concerns using the CNC robot cutter available at Cornell. It can make engravings much cleaner and faster than a human hand, making the human's efforts seem futile.

The form and the imagery of the two plates are essential to my concept. They had to echo the idea of a "reverse Turing test" where instead of a computer trying to pass for human, I am trying to convince the viewer that my line work and technique can be as flawless and clean as a machine's efforts. Intaglio printmaking is especially mistake-prone, so to avoid them is difficult.

A logical way to go about this was to make a design that resembled the early computer art of the 50s–70s that was primarily vector based (focused on geometries and symmetry). When these computer programs became more sophisticated, the digital works created from them became more organic and freeform. It then made sense that the image carried out by the CNC robot had these same characteristics.

Competing with the print heavily influenced by modern robotics and programming, I always doubted my hand work. I display this tension by having the two plates (untraditionally) printed together so that they can compete for the viewer's eye (read from left to right).

Rendition of Mortimer Menpes's Portrait of Whistler, Cornell Botanical Garden, Take It Easy On The Rolls, and The 2:00 AM Stress are all exercises from Rose Marcus's Contemporary Drawing studio. For the first few weeks in this class, I was anxious being in a competitive academic environment. As a freshman, I constantly doubted my skills and acceptance into the program. And each studio day, I resisted change to my technique and preference over classicism because it was where I was comfortable. However, I wasn't growing as an artist and became increasingly frustrated. Rose Marcus, thankfully, held patience and helped me push through my insecurities. As seen with the last few pieces, by accepting her lessons, I created work more freeform and personal to me. This class didn't just teach me the foundations of drawing but helped me with the fear of creating personal art.

Sabrina Haertig

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