A story of ink and steel

10 minutes

How collotype printing, an outmoded technology, helps preserve Japan’s heritage

Collotype was a popular commercial photographic process at the turn of the 20th century, but it is nearing extinction as more practical printing technologies become widespread and affordable worldwide. Unlike modern digital printers, collotype copies almost completely preserve the look and colour depth of originals, but, because the process requires a high level of expertise, demand for the technology is nearly zero. The German director Fritz Schumann’s film, A Story of Ink and Steel, profiles Osamu Yamamoto, a printer working at the world’s only, and perhaps last, colour collotype company.

Director: Fritz Schumann

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
Art by algorithm

From book critiques to music choices, computation is changing aesthetics. Does increasingly average perfection lie ahead?

Ed Finn

Essay/Data & Information
The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni