The most important theorists from the crafts field have contributed to these publications
Documents on Contemporary Crafts is a book series published by Norwegian Crafts in collaboration with Arnoldsche Art Publishers. The series provides a critical reflection of contemporary crafts in a wider context and in doing so asks questions about the ties between contemporary craft, fine art and design, thus helping to redefine the concept of crafts as such. The five volumes discuss such topics as skills, materiality, curating, collecting, perception and New Materializm. The more than thirty contributors range from leading craft theorists, such as Jorunn Veiteberg, Glenn Adamson and Liesbeth den Besten, via academics outside the craft tradition, such as Roger L. Kneebone, professor of surgical education, Trevor Marchand, professor of social anthropology, and Margaret Wasz, consultant psychological therapist, to emerging voices like Sarah R. Gilbert, Marianne Zamecznik and Stephen Knott.
No. 1: Museum for Skills. Skills are essential to the crafts discourse. Yet in an art world that for the last 50 years has become increasingly focused on conceptual strategies, we have seen the tendencies of deskilling and outsourcing. In Museum for Skills, the contributors analyze the current situation for skills by drawing on experience from the fields of brain research, surgery and anthropology.
No. 2: Materiality Matters. If materiality is a quality-related concept in both contemporary crafts and contemporary art, are we talking about the same notion? Or is there a fundamental difference between, on one hand, a maker's confidence in his or her materials, and on the other, a contemporary artist's use and adaption of a given material?
No. 3: Crafting Exhibitions. Curatorial discourse has been an increasingly important aspect of contemporary art. The curator took on a new role as the 'author' of the exhibition. Crafting Exhibitions introduces some of the processes that go into making an exhibition, from developing concepts to the physical realization. The contributors offer different approaches to exhibitions.
No. 4: On Collecting. Collections make up an important part of the contemporary arts and crafts infrastructure. Collectors and museums help improve the financial situation of artists. Additionally, to be included in the 'right' collection or museum can give an artist a high level of recognition and preserves the art works for the future. On Collecting offers insights into collecting from different perspectives and sheds light on some of the structures that determine the 'collectability' of works of art.
No. 5: Material Perceptions. Contemporary craft objects can be perceived for instance, as works of art in ceramics, glass, textile, metal and wood, or as functional, handmade and everyday objects. Material Perceptions investigates contemporary crafts as representations of reality that do not rely on the concept of autonomy, unravelling the dualism between aesthetic objects and everyday things.
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