Blame the Tools: Crafty Robots, Well-behaved Implements and Disobedient Devices
Thursday, 30 April 2020 | Camberwell College of Arts
There has been a long-standing recognition in the arts, humanities and the social sciences of the importance of tools and implements and the ways in which they are used to create, transform and enhance objects. The character of these tools – the ways in which they are handled, the skills and practices that underpin and enable their application – has received less attention. Yet the character of the tool and its embodied use is critical to the creation of and our encounter with objects and artefacts.
In this symposium, we will bring together practitioners and academics from various fields and disciplines to discuss and debate the importance of tools in creation of works of art, craft and design practice. We will explore how various developments in techniques and technologies are providing new distinctive ways of creating and encountering material objects.
This symposium will address such issues as:
· How digital technologies create new affinities between traditional tools and craft
· Imagination and adaptation in the use of traditional and non-traditional tools
· Tool use and innovation in the circular economy
· How tool use supports shared social activities
Paul Atkinson, Phil Ayre, Linda Bothwell, Christian Heath, Alex Monroe, Gareth Neal, Deborah Sugg-Ryan, Liss Werner.
· Accidents in the making that challenge the repetitive and banal, glitches that trigger and stimulate
· Experimentation and adventurous manufacturing to create new materials and material uses
· How new technologies disrupt the status quo of manufacturing models and how increasingly consumers become prosumers
· Do new technologies inspire or constrain? Are myths of brilliance obscuring the exclusionary potential and difficulties of new technologies?
· New relationships between creator and audiences, the rise of local bespoke makers through new global networks
· How does a maker recognise how their choice of materials and manipulation of tools influence an object’s production, to what extent do they condition and adapt the intended affordances of a tool?
· How tools support/limit action and interaction, and how they embody and condition social interchange, the everyday and the extraordinary.
· Contingent and overt dialogues between maker, object and recipient: can these sensitivities be understood and surveyed through the narrative of tool use?
· The impact of civic agency and responsibility of the tool wielder, the students, fixers, makers, hackers and thinkers through changing ethical and sustainable practices.
· Can access or lack of access to tools limit the ambition or ideas of the maker?
More information and booking will be available in January 2020.
This symposium is convened by Dr Jason Cleverly and Professor Adrian Friend as part of the Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon: Research Events Public Programme 2019-2020.
Project partner: King’s College London.