A day of craft research and discussion with Nicole Burisch and Anthea Black

November 16, 2013 - 2:30 PM to 7 PM

Tour of the Artexte collection and presentation by Nicole Burisch of selected documents at 2:30 PM

As a 2012-2013 researcher in residence, Nicole Burisch has investigated the presence and position of craft within Artexte’s collection. Using a broad view on where craft might be located, Burisch has assembled a selection of documents, items and excerpts that together raise and respond to the following questions: How are aspects of craft positioned or deployed within other fields? Which of craft’s qualities or knowledges are useful in communicating certain values or ideas? How has this shifted in relation to other art historical moments or movements?

The results of this research have been gathered together in a limited edition bookwork that resembles a hybrid form of database and zine. Produced through the repetitive acts of photocopying and (re)arranging, the publication traces the presence of craft in Artexte’s collection, while leaving room for gaps, contradictions, and future additions. This new publication will be officially launched at 5 PM, following the lecture.

Lecture by Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch: From Craftivism to Craftwashing: Consuming and co-opting the politics of craft at 4 PM 

In the almost-decade since the word “craftivism” has been used to describe the blending of craft and activism, a number of forces have complicated this relatively emergent dialogue and set of practices. Black and Burisch investigate how the particular qualities of craft have been conflated with notions of authenticity, individuality, and radical politics, and what this might mean in regards to changing notions of activism. If “greenwashing” refers to the use of branding to make a product seem eco-friendly while concealing its negative impacts, we introduce the term “craftwashing” to refer to instances where craft is used to market and perform political and social engagement while obscuring similarly sticky ethical, environmental, and economic impacts of global production and consumption.

Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch have collaborated since 2005. Their contribution to the dialogue on Craftivism, “Craft Hard Die Free, Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism,” is included in The Craft Reader (Berg) and Extra/ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke University Press). Together they have lectured and presented at numerous conferences, galleries, and institutions in Canada, the United States, and the UK.