The Story of the Mindwise Poster
The story of the first Mindwise poster starts two years ago, in 2015, in the kitchen of two friends. They had put up two new posters on their wall (I think one of them was the one about the moon Enceladus, pictured on the right) and they talked to me with excitement about NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab recently-created series of space exploration posters, how beautiful they were, and how the designs were freely available to reproduce and share. The project, titled Visions of the Future, sought to imagine the future of humanity as it embarks in a new era of space exploration, fueled by new technologies and the entry of private industries into the race for space.
The JPL’s posters, the full range of which you can see and download here, were themselves inspired by the WPA‘s posters for the National Park Service. Printed in the late 30s and early 40s, the National Park posters were designed to stimulate a curiosity about the natural wealth of the United States and visits to its National Parks. At its core, the project, which was hugely successful and whose influence can still be felt, was all about capturing the sense of wonder about the world around us and, in doing so, creating long-lasting works of art which defined a generation of travelers. The mission of the JPL followed in those footsteps. Space, the final frontier, as it is sometimes referred to, represents the epitome of the unknown, the unimaginable, the hard to reach and understand, and yet we are on the cusp of a new golden age of space discovery and now the imagination springs back to life.
If outer space is seen as the final frontier, for psychologists studying the mind and human behaviour, understanding the inner workings of the brain and the complexities of human behaviour, that of individuals or that of communities, represents an even more difficult task. As Vilayanur Ramachandran once described, it is the puzzle of a mind pondering itself and seeking to unlock its own mysteries, and, recursively, the puzzle of a mind pondering itself pondering itself. This is a journey truly worth imagining and worth embarking on.
Two years after the seeds of this project were planted in that kitchen, it has finally come to fruition. Our aims with this poster are simple: stimulate a sense of wonder about the beauty of the workings of the human mind, manifest this wonder in an image that is worth placing on your own wall, promote a community of local artists. We could not be more excited about the results of our first poster and we can’t wait to share it with you.
The Artist and the Process
Douwe Dijkstra is a graduate of the Minerva Academy of Visual Arts in Groningen. His focus lies on music illustration and telling visual stories by making books and zines. His inspiration comes from everything around him and all the things and books he collects. Douwe is also one of the members of the Vera Artdivision of the famous Vera Club Groningen where he creates screen-printed gig posters for various bands by hand (check out his work on his Instagram page, follow him on Facebook, and buy his prints on Etsy).
Screen printing (zeefdruk in Dutch) is a printing technique first developed about a thousand years ago and involves forcing ink onto paper (or other substrate) through a screen of fine mesh (think tiny tiny holes) using a squeegee. The screen itself, usually made of polyester, has the negative of each colour layer printed on it with a photo-sensitive resist. The resist is so called because it does not allow the ink to flow through, thus creating a pattern for each of the layers. Each layer is printed separately and allowed to dry before the next layer is printed over it, after carefully registering (aligning) the paper underneath the screen. The video below shows the printing of the first layer. At the bottom of this page, you can see a short series of photos from the process of hand-printing the 2017 Mindwise poster in the attic of Vera, just a few days ago.
The 2017 Mindwise poster is a limited edition of 99 copies, hand-printed in four colour layers by Douwe on April 22nd, 2017 and you can get a copy for your wall by emailing us at email@example.com while we still have a few copies available. Even if we run out, however, fear not! Click on the buttons below to download free hi-res versions of these jpegs to use as backgrounds on your computers and phones, or to print out for your own use.
– Tassos Sarampalis
April 27th, 2017
Resolution: 849 x 1200 pixels
Use as background on phones
Resolution: 3508 x 4961 pixels
Use for print sizes smaller than A1
Resolution: 11314 x 16000 pixels
Use for print sizes A1 and larger
Photos from printing day