Friday, July 30, 2010

Studio theory: The Virtual and the Handmade - 1

Oliver Smith is our new lecturer for what I call object theory, now on Fridays. After Oliver overcame some technical difficulties he handed out a reading "THE THING" by Martin Heidigger (1971) not to be confused with
"THE THING: from another world (1951)". The former is to be read and commented on (50 words) for next week with 3 interesting word definitions. hmmmmm I have now read this reading and I do not think much of it. so my just over 50 words is

At the start of the article I had the feeling that it would be a dense but thought provoking exploration into and about the object and distance. The following 5 pages changed my perception of the writer and my expectations of the content. What seems to be desperate, romantic and religious preaching replaces the expected logical and well rounded argument on the ‘thing’. I don’t believe that his theory would be water tight if applied to another thing (like a knife) rather than the vessel. I think he truly loses it when the fourfold start to be mentioned.

This semesters theme is 'The Virtual and the Handmade'. Oliver's slideshow started with a tapestry of Lia Cook's
from the exhibition "Transformations and the language of craft".
Traces:Intent (2002) to show an example of work that starts from the everyday (family snaps) gets morphed by new technology (computers) and back to the handmade as a tapestry.
The next slide was a woodcut image of a medieval "silversmithing' workshop reminding us of the roots and tradition of craft and how things were made..everyone in the workshop knew how to make an object from start to finish..including the tools. Next a book was used to punctuate our lecturer's took quite a time to grab the title "On divers arts: the foremost medieval treatise on painting, glassmaking, and metal work" by Theophilus (a Jeweller monk). Getting ever closer to the present day we briefly looked at Bernard leach, Josiah Wedgewood, Tappio Wirkkala, Henry Ford, Dale Chihuly and Gilbert Riedelbach.
The rest of the lesson was an introduction to various CAD rapid prototyping techniques.
Such as CNC, block milling, FDM, SLA, SLS, Objet printing and vacuum casting.

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