Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Stay tuned for daily posts (maybe even multiple posts per day).
If you are attending Craft Forward, please consider adding your comments, your own discussion point or photos to this group on Crafthaus.
Whether you are a reader of ASK Harriete or this discussion group, please join the conversation. I'd like this forum to respond to the issues raised in the Craft Forward posts.
In particular, if you have a question or two to ask the speakers and panelists, what would you ask? Let me know and I will do my best to find out the answer to your questions.
This is our chance to hear what the leading lecturers, curators and writers have to say about the future our collective medias. The boundaries between "craft, art, design, architecture and writing" blend into new combination.
"Craft Forward examines the multifaceted practices that both distinguish and blur the historically charged boundaries." "The symposium brings together a diverse group of makers and thinkers to explore the ethos of craft and its resurgence in the 21st century."
This post is your early notice. I will continue with daily posts to lay a foundation for the leap into a deluge of information.Going to a conference lets (or forces) you to be exposed to the unexpected, meet new people, and listen to the lectures. The outcome is always unpredictable.
The variety of conference events may be a mixed bag, but upon reflection afterward, I have always gained some professional contacts or artistic insights.
The recently published book, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft provides interesting perspective on the past century of craft. It will surely be a comprehensive reference for craft education. Then comes along the Craft Forward Symposium, with a provocative title alluding to the future of craft. I was genuinely anticipating learning about all the emerging trends and where they will lead us. Without any doubt, craft is being…Continue
Advance to Go© 2011 Post Consumer Recycled tin cans Artist: Harriete Estel Berman Craft Forward, an amazing title that attracted my attention when first announced.I wouldn't have missed this symposium -- and only an hour from my house. …Continue
Resistance Craft was the last session of Craft Forward. Faster, FASTER, FASTER. Read this post at a frenetic pace to feel the increasing speed of delivery of the next three speakers. Summary Otto von Busch opened his remarks with a video from YouTube about Flood of a Fire Ant Colony. This was followed by additional images of TROPHALLAXIS ants and butterflies all serving as metaphors for various subgroups of the craft community and more specifically the social structure of the web. His lecture was fast and confusing…Continue
"Word Craft" was the seventh session at Craft Forward. At this point we had listened to 13 lectures plus the nine or ten introductions (depending on how you count). After lunch on the 2nd day, my brain was spinning from the fast paced intake of information, but my note taking methodology was improving with finger tips ready for speedy typing. At best, the inclusion of "Word Craft" in Craft Forward is a conceptual stretch, but possible. Unfortunetly, neither speaker tied the content of their presentations to the audience of makers or the theme Craft Forward. It could have been great, to make words relevant to an art and craft audience -- an opportunity lost. Nevertheless, Paul Flores was a discovery…Continue
Chris Taylor is an expert in one material - glass. SummaryDuring his lecture at Craft Forward, in the session titled "Material Craft", he showed us image after image of his objects fabricated with glass in the most extraordinary circumstances (and a testimony to his skill). This included blowing glass in a small boat (with a custom made kiln) 25 miles offshore in the ocean (shown in the video below), or blowing glass while hanging upside down from the ceiling. (This gave him a terrible headache, but it looks like the whole studio had a good time.) He has…Continue
Material Craft -- Session 6 included presentations by Chris Lefteri and Chris TaylorSummaryThis was one session that combined two speakers perfectly under one heading. Material Craft defined their identity and unique skills within their expertise in materials.Their lectures were articulate, confident and straight forward. They both had the same first name....I didn't make a mistake.It was rather refreshing in retrospect that they didn't have any social agenda, amateur knitting, or stuffed animals. They considered themselves EXPERTS with complete professionalism. The difference…Continue
The lecture by Theaster Gates opened with an song. emiko oye captured his "a cappella" solo opening at Craft Forward.As you can see in the opening title of the video, Theaster Gates' lecture was titled, " Soul Manufacturing Corporation, Racialized Materiality and the Life of a Negro Potter." The title is a mouthful....hard to grasp in one sentence. The lecture and the man were equally complex.In the beginning of the lecture, Theaster talked about two areas of focus early in his adult life. One is his academic study of Urban Planning. Second his multiple years of study in Japan of ceramics. He says, I have "clay in my veins."Untitled (bowl) © 2010Ink on Paper 24" x 30"Artist: Theaster GatesImage Courtesy of artst and Kavi GuptaGallery, Berlin / ChicagoMy impression was that Theaster Gates skills with Japanese pottery, tea bowls, and an Eastern influence were perceived as inauthentic by both the…Continue
Sunday morning at Craft Forward started with a schedule change for the session titled, Mass Craft. Ayse Birsel (the scheduled speaker) was replaced by Mimi Robinson. Her lecture was titled, "Artisan Enterprise." This lecture was another of the many lectures at the Craft Forward Symposium where the story was about community. In retrospect, I just can’t figure out why “community” was such an unexpected undercurrent of Craft Forward this year. Maybe by the time ASK Harriete covers every lecture I will have this figured out, or someone will offer their own insight.In the meantime, I remain confounded by how Craft Forward became Craft Community. …Continue
Digital Craft was the fourth session of Craft Forward. This should have been a great topic. I was looking forward to these presentations, but regrettably found disappointment.The Digital Craft speakers were: Cat Mazza - "Crafting the Grid" and Sheila Kennedy "Going Soft: Hybrid Ecology, Mobility and the Emergent Public Realm"I have been debating with myself (i.e. somewhat tortured) about what to write regarding this session, hence my delayed post. Should I skip the…Continue
The lecture by Nancy Hernandez titled, "Crafting the Politics of Identity" advanced the theme of "Identity Craft" at Craft Forward. Ms. Hernandez was very dynamic, speaking in a rapid fire pace. I mean really rapid fire pace, faster than most people talk, and definitely faster than people preferred. At first, this fast pace was stimulating but after a while, well, . . . perhaps this style arose from speaking in front of urban community groups where one has to grab attention and preempt anyone else from getting a word in edgewise.She also demonstrated a rather innovative approach in her lecture as she selected images right off YouTube and her Flickr site in real time.…Continue