Monday, 19 May 2014

Crafting relations: Aspects of materiality and interactivity in exhibition environments, Sandra Karina Löschke

 Crafting relations: Aspects of materiality and interactivity in exhibition environments
 By Sandra Karina Lösch

1968 Reconstruction of the Abstract Cabinet at the Sprengel Museum Hannover/Germany, 2009.

Abstract: The past decades have seen the early avant-garde’s laboratory paradigm and associated exhibition practices re-appropriated by relational art. Both art movements re-evaluate our relationship to the world and to one another and exhibition environments play an important role in the crafting of these relations.

Against this background, the paper investigates two aspects of avant-garde practice that touch upon relational aspects in exhibitions: first, the Constructivists’ radical re-evaluation of materiality as relations of energies between the physical world and human beings that has been summarised under the heading of faktura; and, secondly, the practical and directed application of faktura in the design of exhibition environments with the objective of producing new relations between audience, art institution and the world.

Using Lissitzky’s Hannover and Dresden demonstration rooms as case studies, the paper identifies an inventory of techniques and materials deployed for the construction of what has been considered the first relational environment. It intends to establish a platform for the discussion of trans-historical correspondences that can be detected in contemporary approaches to interactivity and materiality — particularly in art practices associated with relational aesthetics and postproduction art. Does Lissitzky’s precedent anticipate, challenge, or offer expansions on current thinking? Read full Paper

Abstract from: Crafting relations: Aspects of materiality and interactivity in exhibition environments
Full paper published in craft+design enquiry: issue 4 Relational Craft and Design

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Ecology and the aesthetics of imperfect balance

Ecology and the aesthetics of imperfect balance
By Roderick Bamford

 Malin Lundmark, Tea-cup-lamp, 2003, porcelain.
Photo: Stephan Lundberg, courtesy of Malin Lundmark.
Roderick Bamford’s practice traverses art, craft and design, with a specialization in ceramics. He works from a studio north of Sydney and lectures at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW.
Abstract: Historically, craft values have provided a pivotal argument in the conflict between industrial and natural worldviews, concerning both the artefacts and social conditions of their creation. Today, the implications of carbon both as a fuel and a toxin demand a better understanding of the ‘sign’ values embedded in such dialogue, and inform responses to the dangers posed by dominant anthropocentric perspectives. Amidst the logic of a number of ‘design for sustainability’ arguments, craft emerges as an antidotal signifier to the combined impacts of hyper efficient production and rampant ‘throw away’ consumerism. Yet, in the carbon context, notions of benign impact and enduring value associated with craft can elicit contradictions. Drawing on literary arguments and examples in practice, this paper surveys relationships between craft and design as instruments of sustainability theory. Whilst recognizing the importance of qualitative factors in this context, and the increasing attention given to them in research, the critique emerges largely from a more established quantitative, or measured perspective. The relevance of this approach is attributed to the primacy of material outputs in both craft and design practice. In this context the writing aims to address a comparative gap in the discussion of practices in craft and design, and to contribute to a deeper understanding of their relationship. In seeking possibilities for craft within a discipline of sustainable culture, it explores a role for aesthetics in the context of what may be considered unnecessary artifacts. Read full paper 

Abstract from: Ecology and the aesthetics of imperfect balance
Full paper published in craft+design enquiry: issue 3 Sustainability in craft and design