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World Wide Workshop: The Craft of Noticing

Nicolas Cheng, Konsthantverk, HDK

Tid och plats
Fredagen den 8 November 2019 kl 13:00
Aulan/Konstbiblioteket, HDK. Kristinelundsgatan 6–8, Göteborg

Dr. Su san Cohn, konstnär och curator, Melbourne (AU)


  • Dr. Petra Ahde-Deal, Docent in Design, KEA-Copenhagen School of Design & Technology (DK)
  • Stephen Bottomley, Head of School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University (UK)
  • Dr. David Huycke, Professor, PXL-MAD School of Arts Hasselt (BE)

In my research, I consider craft as a discipline that is extremely elastic in terms of propositions and positions. Today craft exists in a highly dynamic space — what I will refer to as the World Wide Workshop — and is essential for noticing, caring, mending and negotiating the complex relationships that individuals and communities have with their sociopolitical, economic and natural environment. By moving away from the self-reliance implied by traditional studio-based craft practice, I use situated making and situated learning together with and in response to others, as methods that enable me to pay attention and respond to my surroundings, and to observe connections and entanglements offered by craft — what I will refer to as a craft of noticing. This thesis considers craft’s role and potential in a world that is interconnected, globalised, and disrupted by human-caused phenomena.
The research focuses, firstly, on understanding how craft can be both a connector and a method for noticing, and for problematising complex global production and economic issues in today’s postindustrial society. I approach craft as both a physical but also a virtual entity and explore where and how craft-based disciplines are learned, passed on, practised, and shared. Secondly, I look for ways craft can play a strategic role in revealing hidden histories and behaviours. In the process, I have observed how the awareness of entanglement in a complex world system, where it is no longer possible to think in terms of opposites or dichotomies, challenges an anthropocentric worldview and decentralises the human in our relationships to nature and to material resources.
Through my own methodological propositions and personal reflections on making within the realms of contemporary craft and jewellery, the thesis aims to build from the craft of noticing (Tsing 2015) to propose actions of response-ability (Haraway 2016) in the service of a praxis of care and resurgence in a time of environmental crisis. My practice questions our roles and response-abilities as makers in an entangled, damaged world and attempts to move away from a linear extract-produce-discard model to a more circular approach (Tsing 2005, 2015; Haraway 2016), thus testing the possibilities offered by a harvest-care-remediate model.

craft, jewellery, situated making, noticing, care, empathy, postindustrial, World Wide Workshop

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