Craft vs. Technology

KNiiTTiiNG

On my way to work, I was thinking how I’ve been writing about artists that would, categorically, put themselves on opposite ends of the art spectrum. Craft and Technology. Both types of artists may feel marginalized from the main stream art world. Yet, both have certainly found their way into art museums and galleries by using craft or technology as a means of conveying ideas. For instance, take a look at Stephanie Syjuco’s, The Counterfeit Crochet Project, which examines globalization. LJ Roberts’s creates large scale knitted installations forcing the viewer to confront Self vs. Other. Lastly, sculptor, Tara Donovan who takes Styrofoam cups and other everyday objects we may often neglect and create phenomenal organic sculptures that make you think twice about how we live in the world. Craft, in these cases, force the viewer to be in the world with others.

On the other end, you find artists that utilize technological expertise to create works that are interactive. Looking at Brian Knep’s work, the art works physically change based on museum or gallery patrons movements. His use of custom algorithms simulate organic forms in nature and showcase how technology binds us together (through interaction with the space and with each other).  Tim Roseborough’s piece, Singing Garden, the flowers bloom based on sound waves from a viewer’s singing voice. Technology (or New Media), in Knep’s and Roseborough’s work, make the observer part of the creation and brings the viewer full circle back to the self.

I started wondering, what if someone intertwined some type of craft (knitting) and technology (new media). I found this actually exists and not so surprisingly, was featured at the ITAB: International TECHstyle Art Biennial in San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (San Jose, CA).

From the KNiiTTiiNG ‘About’ section web site

“KNiiTTiiNG was created by an artist and an engineer turned behavioral scientist.  Artist Rachel Beth Egenhoefer works with overlaps between technology and textiles. Scientist Kyle E. Jennings is interested in repurposing technology for creative human machine interactions”.

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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