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Sandra Alfoldy / Grace Cochrane / Elizabeth Cumming / Tanya Harrod / Janice Helland / David Howard / David Howes / Love Jönsson / Beverly Lemire / Joseph McBrinn / Bruce Metcalf / B. Lynne Milgram / Alla Myzelev / John Potvin / Mike Press / Larry Shiner
Softcover, 273 pages, 65 bw, 7 x 9”
Publication Date: September 2007
Table of contents/excerpt (PDF)
...the book is successful in bringing together various threads of thought relevant to craft discourse: anthropology, historical analysis, philosophical perspectives, social analysis, and a particularly insightful, provocative and useful section on the use of digital media.
– Roberts, Diana. “Book Review: NeoCraft: Modernity and the Crafts.” Ceramics Monthly; March 2008: 72-76.
The relationship between the crafts and modernity has long been characterized as difficult and the crafts are often perceived as occupying a marginalized role in the discourses of modernism. NeoCraft: Modernity and the Crafts seeks to challenge the assumptions surrounding this relationship by introducing a wide range of scholarly essays that explore the historical, contemporary and future positioning of the crafts within the broader scope of visual culture.
The crafts occupy an important role in material, globalized modernity, and as such they must be understood through a multiplicity of gazes. With that in mind NeoCraft: Modernity and the Crafts unites an international, interdisciplinary range of writers who are actively contextualizing modernity and the crafts. Drawing upon writings in the fields of craft history, art history, philosophy, museum studies, anthropology, fashion theory, history, women’s studies, and design, this book explores in detail the shifting and influential cultural position of the crafts.
NeoCraft is divided into five central themes: Cultural Redundancy or The Genre Under Threat; Global Craft; Crafts and Political Economy; Invention of Tradition: Craft and Utopian Ideals; and Craft, the Senses and New Technologies. Within each of these themes leading scholars, craftspeople and curators including Bruce Metcalf, Larry Shiner, David Howard, Grace Cochrane, John Potvin, Beverly Lemire, Joseph McBrinn, B. Lynne Milgram, Janice Helland, Elizabeth Cumming, Alla Myzelev, David Howes, Tanya Harrod, Love Jönsson, and Mike Press, explore the reality of craft practice that engages with the modernizing world.
Aimed at encouraging an international, interdisciplinary, exchange of ideas surrounding the crafts, the three-day Neocraft conference was attended by over 250 delegates, and included sixty-seven juried papers; demonstrations of new computer technologies in relation to craft; the publication of scholarly essays exploring the main themes of the conference; three confirmed book launches of new craft history/theory texts; and, simultaneous exhibitions of the work of craftspeople in virtually every gallery in the city of Halifax at the time of the conference.
Organized by Dr. Sandra Alfoldy and funded by SSHRC and the Canada Council for the Arts, the NeoCraft conference was designed with the objective of further developing critical thinking, theory and history in relation the crafts. The intention of NeoCraft was to acknowledge the vital role the crafts play in our culture and economy and to account for the position of craft by creating a forum for lively exchange and debate.