Exhibitionists·Video

How to make art with squid ink: A step-by-step introduction

In this segment, we watch as a squid becomes the raw material for drawing and printmaking.

Squid's not just about calamari and pasta — you can make art with it, too

In an art/science hybrid lab, we learn how to dissect a squid and use it as the raw material for making art. 2:19

Put down your calamari! While squid is a beautiful sea creature and a common appetizer, it's perhaps less commonly known for its ink. That's the substance with which a squid can colour the water to make a quick escape, and it's also sought after to colour and flavour dishes like pasta and risotto. It's not cheap, either — a squid contains only a small amount of the liquid.

Earlier this year, CBC Arts went to Toronto's Action Potential Lab to film our story about Christian Bök and his journey to encode a bacterium with poetry. The Lab is the first of its kind in Toronto — a space dedicated to the intersection between art and science. When the Lab's director and founder Lisa Carrie Goldberg told us she holds a class in squid dissection and ink extraction to make art, we had to find out everything we could about the process. In this segment, Goldberg takes us through all the steps from squid to squid ink art.

Former Exhibitionist in Residence Carolyn Tripp took up the challenge of exploring the possibilities of artmaking with squid ink — the results were mesmerizing, and you can see them at the end of this video. You can also find out more about classes and events at Action Potential Lab here.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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