“Counterfeit Realities” is the theme for this year’s KCAI Road Roller event. Now more than ever, humankind’s grasp on objective reality is wafer thin. Deep Fake technology, advancements in Artificial Intelligence, revisionist history curriculums in public school, the prevalence and popularity of conspiracy theories, biased news networks, and the dreaded social media algorithm twist and contort our collective interpretation of the world to such an extent that we may eventually have to recon with a world devoid of objective truth.

In my eyes, the theme of “Counterfeit Realities” is meant to be loose and open to interpretation in approach, imagery, and tone. Ideally “Counterfeit Realities” will encourage students and the viewing public alike to consider their proximity to these ideas themselves. This theme is meant to be challenging, but also exciting and engaging. It is a theme I explore in my own art practice- sometimes a piece's connection to this theme is immediate, other times the connection reveals itself slowly. Because of this, I would like to pose no further restrictions to students other than to consider and explore these ideas while creating their woodblocks.

~ Mike Pennekamp

Relief block printing has morphed into a contemporary vision of the tradition and the power of message dissemination used in propaganda posters. Students will use relief medium, as a logical choice of expression with the aid of digital technologies like routers in tandem with hand-carved images in our studio. Prints will be pressed on paper and fabric for instant dissemination. Students will work with Mike Pennekamp responding with their take on the proposed issues through print.

Initial sketches and a wealth of brainstorming starts on March 20th in the Printmaking department followed by an intense and laborious studio time carving large format wooden plates until March 27th..