Titus Schulz: Switchboard (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2016
Technology is one of the pivotal factors of who we are as a species at this moment in time, and the history of technology, particularly through the twentieth century, is still very much part of our recent history.
Whether you embrace, rail, or sit somewhere between, the notion of technology and the part it has played, continues to play, and will play in the future, seems hard to deny, which is perhaps why it is remarkable that it doesn't feature more prominently within the visual arts.
There are artists that use human technology as a theme, some to criticise, some to reflect upon, others to embrace. However, there are few artists that include technology in such a way as to visually engage as prominently as the artist Titus Schulz.
Titus Schulz: Machine 1 (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016
Titus Schulz: Machine 2 (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016
Titus work is ablaze with colour, with features, connecting lines, spirals and circles, a complexity that puts you in mind of circuit boards, of the insides of old twentieth century radios, telephone exchanges, short wave radios.
Titus has been fascinated with the world of technology since he was a boy. Exploring and playing with various pieces of technology he has developed a feeling for the scope and feel of our invented science.
Titus Schulz: Photographs 1 (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2015
Titus Schulz: Photographs 2 (blockprint with offset ink, plaster, carbon, cobweb, and rust on paper), 2016
He sees technology as a means and expression of human development, or at least the need to evolve. We are creatures that can project both backward and forward, supposedly the only ones on the planet that can. In this respect, we engender the future, we give it substance if you like, give substance to an entity that has yet to exist.
Our faith in technology in many respects is a faith in the future, it is a positive and life-affirming faith, and it is one that Titus reflects on in his work. He often sees our use of technology as a means of organising chaos, of creating order and focus in the chaotic world around us. However, all is ultimately illusion.
Titus Schulz: CNIRBS Radio (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with Indian ink on paper), 2016
Titus Schulz: Bomber (blockprint with offset ink, ultramarine pigment, and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016
Order is transient, and chaos is quick to step in and reassert itself whenever that seeming order falters. It is a dance between the two, and it is a dance that Titus is well aware of, and one that he uses over and over in his work.
Much of the imagery Titus uses as an artist is technology made redundant. It is the leading edge of science, that has over time crumbled, faded, decayed, been pushed aside by new strides in science. It is one that is quickly forgotten, as is its contribution towards who we are as a species. Nothing is as cruelly indifferent as succeeding generations.
Titus Schulz: Demolition Charge (blockprint with offset ink and drawing with black Indian ink on paper), 2016
Titus Schulz: Gravestone (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016
However, it would be a mistake to think that Titus dealt in nostalgia, evoking a twentieth century world of valves, dials, switches. It is much more a case of the artist observing, understanding, and reusing these references of technology in order to on one level, celebrate that achievement of human ingenuity, and on the other to be aware of the cyclical nature of chaos, disintegration, and then regeneration of resources, of reinterpreting the discarded, breathing new life into the junk of yesterday, that in its own time helped construct the future.
This is both an empowering and humbling strategy on Titus part. We are in a constant tug-of-war between yesterday and tomorrow, with the only breathing space being the 'now' that we inhabit. To understand that, is to understand what it is to be human, and to understand at least part of the role we play being a creature caught between space and time.
More of Titus work can be found at his comprehensive website: http://titusschulz-drukwerk.jimdo.com/
All imagery was kindly supplied by the artist. If you wish to reproduce any piece of Titus work in this article, please ask him first. Thanks!
Titus Schulz: The Movement of Electronics (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2016