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Monday, 27 June 2011

Design art: making an impression



When writing a piece on 3D printing/computer generated design, I stumbled upon this quote in Michael Eden’s blog: “In an increasingly post-digital world, there is a move towards a pre-industrial landscape. Eased by global connectivity, cottage industries are sprouting up everywhere. People are creating their own products, services, and art. They are rediscovering the satisfaction of creating a tangible product, the process of making, the lessons from making by hand.”

The skilled workmanship and practical benefits of artisan crafts are becoming ever more appreciated – which is great for students about to graduate from the Royal College of Art (as illustrated in my post at The Dabbler). ShopCurious notes that the traditional snobbery surrounding art versus craft is coming under closer scrutiny too.





I wouldn’t describe myself as a designer-maker, but, I did have a go at a spot of DIY design when I contributed towards Lulu Guinness’ Be a Pin Up installation at Clerkenwell Design Week. Participative art has become a popular means of promotion for arts organizations and retailers.

In this case, the tools on offer consisted of a giant slab of metal pins that could be moulded into a shape by pressing your body against it – effectively creating a human sculpture. First I observed the technique, watching a couple of chaps do their curiously creative thing (above and left).





Then I had my own attempt. Initially a straightforward full body replica - though I didn’t appear to have any hips, and there was a large hole in my chest…

I’d really wanted to create something a little more original, so I raised one leg up as high as it would stretch and shoved my foot into the pins. I certainly created a very curious impression (see below), sustaining a bruised and bleeding shin in the process.

I was too shy to submit my feeble efforts to Lulu's contest, but it just goes to show that anyone and everyone can be a conceptual artist.






These days, 'design art' is as much about making an impression as the quality of the work itself. If you’re an aspiring artist, as in the music and film industries, you should be prepared to bare your soul in order to gain recognition…

In future, what may become more important is creating something useful. Perhaps this accounts for the burgeoning number of craft workshops and websites – and the emergence of DIY design? But a word of warning: don’t expect your handiwork to look perfect.

Will you?

8 comments:

worm said...

It's a really interesting point that you've made Susan, I discuss this very topic with some of my artist friends often. Said discussions can get quite heated as it seems very difficult to pin down the difference between art and craft - and is there a difference? (of course there is sometimes but surely the production of much art is through craft) and vice versa. I wonder if the current trend of turning art into games that we interact with is a phase or if it's here to stay?

Jan said...

I'll assume that didn't hurt!

Susan said...

Well actually Jan it did hurt quite a lot - especially where I cut my leg! And they didn't have any warnings like: Do not wear floaty silk chiffon dress with bare legs...

Worm, I always thought craft to be a verb and art a noun - but in practise they're inextricably linked to each other. Btw I just found this interestng article by Paul Butzi!

David said...

My God: I wish I'd been there - I do enjoy a bit of 'cutting edge' performance art.

David said...

Oh! did I forget to appologise for the terrible pun? I think I did.

Susan said...

Painfully punful, thanks David!

Style Porn said...

OMFG I want this thing. I had one of the mini hand ones at my parent's house in high school, and it was seriously the best thing to play with. If I ever get rich and fill a giant house with ridiculous and unnecessary shit, this will definitely be included.

Jill said...

That looks like fun!

OH, now I read the comments, maybe not so much fun after all.