Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
The kick off night of Craft Forward was jam-packed, starting with an Open House at CCA's Oakland campus. Saw some interesting student work, met some promising young talent, then everyone convened at Mission Bay Conference Center for some mingling over drinks and mind-stretching keynote, The Invention of Craft by historian, Glenn Adamson.
Wei Lah Poh sporting her hand fabricated necklace inspired by oysters, and marvelous tiara with custom made box (love it when the display is part of the piece). This powerhouse student was the lead in organizing the metals student show in the College St gallery.
Great presentation of this chair waterfall with the rug and all, but who made it? No sign of the artist anywhere (literally)...
Chris Admunsen, Executive Director of ACC. He was super accessible over the course of the conference, a genuine spirit. Had a lively chat with him Sat morning before the day started; his fresh perspective and willingness to listen and be open to the needs of the members has promise to invigorate ACC, and hopefully the craft field. Thumbs up to you, Chris!
CCA metals student, Crista Reid, with her typewriter neckpiece. This girl has got it going on, I think we'll be seeing more from her soon: Crista got up to the mic on the last day during the closing remarks (in the midst of 300 people, which takes super guts) and commended the conference planners for giving us a fantastic conference, and providing students with the opportunity to attend it. Invigorating the next generation is key, I fully agree. Now is the time, strike while the iron is hot!
Glenn Adamson, a craft & design historian and theorist, a craft Moby! To have dinner with him must be mind-blowing, his brain must be sparking all the time. The fact that I was wide awake during his presentation, in the semi-dark, at 9pm and ready for more at the end, is a testament to his presentation skillz. And lucky for us metalsmiths, he's speaking at SNAG Seattle next month!
"Craft as a problem to be thought through again and again, always shaping other disciplines. Craft only exists in motion."
Outsourcing Indonesian carvers to make this life-sized garbage truck - is it active exploitation of workers, is the point to be upsetting? Best part was that the workers turned around and made mini trucks as their own business to sell as souvenirs!
End result weaving from Anne Willson's Local Industry activism project. Bar code-like, isn't it?
More stuffed animals! Mike Kelley's More Love Hours That Can Ever Be Repaid (stuffed fabric toys and afghans on canvas with dried corn; wax candles on wood and metal base).
Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project in Detriot, MI.
See the YouTube video on more of this public art activism:
"The thing about activism is that you have to keep doing it." True that, Glenn.
Great images from emiko oye.
The blue velvet chair at the student exhibit was fantastic.
I found agreat image of the shoes and the image of the original Gibbons carved Cravat. They were posted on ASK Harriete.
Here it is... To the left is a photo of Grinling Gibbons's Cravat (1890) Photograph: Victoria and Albert Museum images. It is a finely crafted tour de force carving in wood that looks convincingly like fine hand made lace.The high risk objective for the artist was could he make wood look like lace.
At the opposite extreme, to the right, is a photo of a boot by Alexander McQueen, a fashion designer. The heels and soles are based on the work of Grinling Gibbons. The boot is an imitation of craft. It is not hand made, the heels were cast. The apparent risk is fake because it is manufactured.
A further irony is shown in this third image from Glenn Adamson's lecture. This is a Wim Delvoye concrete mixer hand carved in mahogany wood to look like a manufactured object. Wim Delvoye outsourced the actual carving to highly skilled labors (in Indonesia, I think?) as a critique of highly skilled work. Once it was back in the gallery…the carvers were making knick knack knock offs of his full scale concrete truck as tourist souvenirs in Indonesia. The tourist souvenirs are not authorized art work, but very ironic, perhaps irony upon irony.
There is so much that could be said about the labor of the anonymous crafts person, but I will let someone else add to the dialog.