Sunday, April 10, 2011

Helpful Quotes from Hand + Made

Adamson,Glenn, Valerie Cassel Oliver and Namita Wiggers.Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft. Contemporary Art Museam Houston, 2010.

"One of the key objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology, and its teachers rejected the notion of a hierarchy among media or materials," (Oliver, 11).

"Untethered from its traditional boundaries, postwar American craft began to engage with the avant-garde practices of the day. From within this context arose a generation of artists whose work deemphasized the utilitarian nature of the object, instead exploring the conceptual and contextual issues surrounding object making as well as the philosophical and social concerns that occupied their contemporaries in the art world, such as existentialism, aesthetic hierarchies, and the commercialization of art, identity and culture." (Oliver, 12).

"Wilson has skillfully integrated conventional fine art materials with craft techniques to deconstruct disciplines and focus attention on the politics of gender, race, and culture" (Oliver, 16-17).

"Simply put, is no longer relegated to the binary of functionality and autonomy or, more archaically, to high or low art. And in the context of contemporary art, such delineations have ceased to be relevant as contemporary artists today fluidly move between disciplines and genres to create new traditions." (Oliver, 18).

"As hand skills become less and less common, they are ever more often set out for appreciation in their own right, like endangered species in a zoo." (Adamson, 21).

"Craft in performance reassures us, then. It seems certain, rich, deep-- historically embedded and intrinsically valuable. There's a problem with the picture though: what about the objects that result? In this respect, craft is very different from other types of skillful performance. As the handmade object enters into circuits of reception, exchange, and critical judgment, it becomes an unmanageable thing. Its status (as artwork, design, luxury good, souvenir, folk item, magical talisman, prototype, readymade, or replica) becomes a subjective matter. Its value is no longer self-evident but is determined by the corrupting, or at least confusing, forces of the marketplace. This difficulty has been with us since the time of William Morris, and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon. The characteristic twentieth-century solution was to position the craft object as an artwork, in which case it could be claimed to have critical potential in an age of mass production. But this is much easier said than done; many (perhaps most) modern craft objects do not transcend the skill that went into their making in this way. If anything, they play a game of catch-up with their facture, so that we are left with the feeling that the object is only the retrospective excuse for its own making. Craft remains chained to the production of commodities, like Prometheus to his rock." (Adamson, 22-23).

"When one does encounter craft in this digital age, it is usually the process and not the product that counts. This is, indeed, the constant refrain from the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement, which has become such a conspicuous feature of the American craft landscape in recent years". (Adamson, 24).

"We should remember that the real, lasting value of a performance is what it inspires besides awe". (Adamson, 25).

Page 25, Picture of the KnittaPlease Mexico City Bus, tag reads: Mexico City Bus, 2008, knitted and crocheted yarn, glue, city bus, Courtesy of the artists and Absolut Vodka
-good tie in to corporate sponsorship: Unilever soap sponsors the Turbine Hall exhibits and PBR is the official sponsor of the Renegade Craft Fair.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Outline for M. Friday Class Presentation

Topic: Contemporary Craft and Craftivism

Questions to ask students to consider during the presentation: How does craft affect my studio practice? How do my ideas regarding craft alter my perception of artwork? What makes a successful work of art? When is craftsmanship an issue? When is it not an issue?

-Going to be talking about Craft and its relationship to Art
-Define Craft as a noun
-Define craft as a verb
-Define Craft as a field of study
*academic craft vs traditional craft vs DIY

-Talk about the history of Craft
*guilds of the Middle Ages (Bayeaux Tapestry)
*William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement
*Bauhaus, Black Mountain College
*WWII and the GI Bill
*Current trends in the Crafts field: Museum of Art and Design

-Craft exists in a precarious place; talk about Craft's relationship with Design and with Art, quote from Garth Clark's "The Death of Craft"

-Talk about the future of Craft
*the use of craft in art (work after Unmonumental)
*'Craft is Mexico' quote
*the performance impulse in Craft (Gabriel Craig)
*liminal work; artists working in the margins of Craft
*what is the difference between a successful Craft object and a successful Art object?
*talk about venues for Craft and Craft's confusing and occasionally problematic relationship with its perceived audience

*provide definition to this relatively new trend
*talk a bit about the history of fiber arts
*talk about the importance of community building in Craftivism
*provide examples of recent Craftivist projects

-Leave at least 20 mins for discussion; answer any questions and ask them to talk about the questions posed at the beginning of the presentation

Monday, April 4, 2011


Ideas for titles:

23' Extension
Short (closed circuit)

Run to Ground

Dead Outlet

Live Wire

Ideas for Show Title:

Dropped Potential
Potential Difference