In the making

January 30 - April 11, 2015

College Art Galleries

Diana Sherlock, Curator

In the making, a group exhibition of thirteen Alberta College of Art + Design alumni, investigates conceptual intersections between contemporary craft and emerging digital media. The works span a diverse range of disciplines and reflect the ongoing influence of technology on ways of making and ways of thinking about the contemporary context. In its title, In the making alludes to the ongoing process of invention in both handwork and emerging technologies. The exhibition aims to highlight a diverse range of related research and practice produced recently by artists who are interested in inventing new ways to think about the world through processes of making, regardless of discipline. Although the sample of artists and works in the exhibition is small given the college’s long history of successful alumni, the diversity of practices provides a good sense of how these artists engage current theoretical ideas about art,craft and design that are also in the making.

The exhibition assumes the centrality of the processes of making to art, craft and design. Craft theorist Glenn Adamson argues in his new book, The Invention of Craft,that intersections between handwork and modes of technological production, especially modern industrial production, form the basis of the origins of modern craft. Yet craft was quickly framed as industry’s other. In the making posits that technology and modes of making are not merely tools or processes required to get the job done, but are integral conceptual extensions of the work that allow artists to make and think in ways they would not have been able to otherwise.

The artists’ works relate to a number of ideas that recur and overlap within the exhibition to tease out how ways of making within each artist’s practice inform or extend ways of thinking about craft and emerging media, between specific disciplinary knowledges or languages, or ways of understanding and articulating the world. Key ideas include the relationship between tacit and conceptual knowledges, or how the hand, the heart and the mind interrelate in ways of making; the ongoing coexistence of traditional and contemporary ways of making that involve processes of translation and remediation; divergent economic models of labour and love entwined with both craft and technology; the dematerialization and rematerialization of art and craft; and the deskilling and reskilling of post-disciplinary practice. Perhaps more than ever, contemporary artists involved with both interdisciplinary and post-studio art production demonstrate that making is thinking, and together they not only reflect, but affect the direction of society.

 

The curator would like to acknowledge the important support of the Alberta College of Art + Design, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary 2012, Calgary Arts Development, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, the Kenderdine Art Gallery and an anonymous donor.