Mat03
Dwelling in craft

Convenors:
Anneli Palmsköld (University of Gothenburg)
Viveka Torell (Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business (including The Swedish School of Textiles))
Stream:
Material culture and museums
Location:
VG 2.103
Start time:
27 March, 2017 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Craft is a sphere of activities where humans can dwell. It is a space for dreaming and planning as well as for material encounters between body and matter. We invite scholars to critical theorize on craft/ making as cultural activities or to present empirical findings from the field.

Long abstract:

Craft is a sphere of activities where humans as cultural beings can dwell; a place in people´s lives where processing of thoughts and feelings regarding everyday life and political events can take place. Craft as cultural heritage can also be directed towards the future, since understanding of handmade processes is a base for industrial production. It is a space for dreaming and planning as well as for material encounters between body and matter - in both ways changing the world. Dwelling in craft must not be idealized though. It's manifold expressions and opposite features have to be studied critically. Craftwork can be apprehended in various ways; calming but also frustrating, creative and innovative as well as boringly routinized. People can earn their living trough craft or they can reside in craft contexts like educational workshops, the DIY or DIT movement and maker spaces, for recreational purposes. Craft can be about healthy peoples' creative self-expressions, but it can also be used as a tool in therapeutic processes or in reminiscence-work with persons suffering from dementia. Craft is social when learnt and shared but often individually performed with personal bodily knowing, as it's prerequisite. Thus it connects people and fosters self-esteem, but it also pinpoints differences regarding bodily performances and may lead to competition and envy. An ethnological "double glance" at the phenomenon is needed. We invite scholars to theorize on craft / making as cultural activities or to present empirical findings from the field.