Monday 21 November 2011, 9:32pm
At the beginning of this lecture stood the question: is this new interest in the art of craft a requiem or renaissance? Is it being treated as a novelty? This craft, as Daniel Miller states in the lead essay in the book from the exhibition, “Can easily become a vehicle of nostalgia,” or is this in fact a true rebirth with all the importance that the word implies? Capital places the aesthetic in an area of life different to that associated with craft and politics, but rather commodifies it, tailors it to a consumerist mindset.
Early in the lecture, Daniel Charney shows how craft has taken a back-seat in society and in education, just short of being openly discriminated against in practicing it. Yet that seems to be a hypocritical attitude, capital cannot do without the creativity of craft. The whole notion of craft, depends on invention and ingenuity. This then acts a means to revolutionize craft and ultimately maximize profit.
It occurred to me how many times in the lecture Chanry applied the value of emotion to objects. This emotive idea brings us back to the earlier argument, and might provide some answers to why craft is so easily dismissed. Emotion cannot be commodified. This idea that the crafts person adds a bit of himself to each material he handles. In explaining objects, Chanry looked at the constituent parts, rather than it as a complete and finished project. He further states that some designers use craft as a means for expression in itself. All the while searching for greater opportunity in originality.
This thought provoking lecture was concluded, stating that something must give. Either changing the perception of Craft, or changing our current attitudes towards commodity and consumerism to reintegrate it.