Digital Technologies & Contemporary Craft

>An interesting article was put out by Craft Australia, Australia’s craft advocacy organization: US based artist and design professor Donald Fortescue comments on recent work by craftspeople in the US which embraces digital technology. He defines the notions of sensuality, narrative and anachronism in this work and argues that digital technology is congruent with the core values of the crafts. He concludes that the challenge for artists and designers is to understand and become fluent not only with the technologies themselves but the meanings they carry with them.

“There has been an interesting trend in the last 10 years or so for many contemporary craft artists in the US to incorporate what has been called ‘new’ or more strictly ‘digital’ technology in their work. This might seem at odds with the very definition of craft practice with its emphasis on ‘hand work’, the primacy of the sensual and the honoring of traditions and historical precedents…”

“The crafts are often seen as outmoded and behind the times, clinging to technologies somehow inappropriate or rendered quaint by the proliferating ‘new’ technologies. However, clay and glass drinking vessels have been part of human culture for thousands of years. How long will the PET bottle be around for?

Similarly digital technologies while having the glamor of new and cool are arguably more distinctly artifacts of a moment in time. Technologically attuned craft artists are re-contextualizing old and new technologies and in doing so questioning the values we attribute to each.”

Many of Donald’s points are made using images from the
recent exhibition The New Materiality – Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft at the Fuller Museum of Craft (Brockton, Massachusetts), including the work Virtual Novelist by Tim Tate.

Tim Tate, Virtual Novelist, 2008, Blown and Cast Glass, Electronic Components, Original Video,

Photographer: Anything Photographic

Click HERE to jump to Donald’s full review.

American Craft Magazine

>The latest issue of American Craft Magazine was delivered today – and inside the glossy pages was a gorgeous layout from the Virginia A Groot Foundation on the 2009 recipients. Tim Tate was the First Prize winner for 2009, and his work was the ad’s central image:
For more information on the Virginia A Groot Foundation grants for sculptural work- click HERE