|The concept of “technology as craft” as
expressed in this exhibition’s title may seem incongruous.
Generally speaking, when we think of craft as a form of art, we hark back
to a pre-machine, pre-industrial era, a time when the mode of production
was based on the handmade. Over the course of the last 200 years, machines
have replaced formerly human-dependent modes of production and we now,
consequently, live in a thoroughly mechanized, technology-driven society.
Industrialization impacts all sectors of society including the arts, and not surprisingly, numerous artists have reconciled themselves to its concomitant changes in various ways. The Arts and Crafts Movement, for example, valorized handiwork in opposition to the way that machines morally and ethically degraded the artisan. By contrast, the Futurists embraced the possibilities afforded by the machine in their studies of time-altered forms, while Pop Artists weighed in by their satirical engagement with the simulacrum of mass-production and mass-consumption made evident by serialization.
The artists in continue in this vein by examining the tension, contradiction, and synthesis between the mass-produced and handcrafted. Confronted by artworks that appear as though they were made by a machine, and in large part, comprised of materials are machine-made, the viewer is surrounded by forms and shapes that are part of the everyday. The media of choice here --Styrofoam, Plexiglas, paper, and pieces of plastic--is so ubiquitous that it constitutes the ephemera of our modern existence. Yet, the technology-inspired artworks featured in this exhibition belie the hi-tech manufactured appearance of their construction and materials as each piece is systematically and meticulously produced by the artist’s hand.