crafting and punk politics


SPTP: Crafting and Punk Politics: INDY ART, CRAFT and DESIGN

amy hauber

“There is something decidedly anti-authority (in crafting) in an era where cheap goods can be acquired easily, and corporate culture and rampant consumerism are on the rise….In the age of hyper-materialism, Paris Hilton, and thousand-dollar “It” bags, perhaps making stuff is the ultimate form of rebellion” – Jean Railla

This combination studio and seminar course will engage in a dialogue about contemporary crafting through the lenses of DIY culture, community, self-reliance, collaboration, digital culture and punk politics.

In the spirit of DIY, each student in the course will be responsible for proposing and presenting at least one full material/process demonstration (including supporting materials/handouts) at the beginning of the term. After the first couple weeks of demonstrations, students will then propose and create an extensive body of small works using any and all of the processes covered.

Each student will own and maintain their own shop site, as well as contribute to the community course blog with their process/demonstration information and insights into their artistic processes.

Processes that will likely be covered are: sewing, felting, leatherworking, knitting, embroidery, creating small ceramic forms in stoneware and porcelain, wood carving, and mixed media processes, creating wearable forms, screen printing for paper, fabric and clay, decal-making for ceramics, small metal fabrication, drawings and art dolls or other soft sculpture.

Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design, Faythe Levine,     Cortney Heimeri, 2009
By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art, Princeton, 2006
Thinking Through Craft, Glenn Adamson, Berg, 2007
NeoCraft, , Sandra Alfoldy, Editor, 2008

FILM: DIY or die: How to survive as an independent artist

Beautiful Losers: How DIY is transforming art and pop culture.
In the early 1990’s a loose-knit group of like-minded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the “establishment” art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture.


MISC: Dale Dougherty, Editor of Craft Magazine – DEFINES TERMS:

Modern Craft & DIY cultural values:
Creativity. Learning and play. Interdisciplinary. Participation in a community. Recycle, repurpose and reuse. Transparency (meaning, you know how something is made, you can see how it works, you can tinker with it).

Identity and craft / DIY:
it’s very personal. The things that people create have meaning for them and are a reflection of their identity. They can also give you a feeling of connecting to the past, to all those people who did the craft before you. Craft DIY is a form of gift economy in that people share their knowledge and love of their craft and often give away the stuff they make.

refers to the ethic of being self-reliant by completing tasks oneself as opposed to having others who are likely more experienced complete them. The term can indicate “doing” anything from home improvements and repairs to healthcare, from publication to electronics.

DIY questions the supposed uniqueness of the expert’s skills, and promotes the ability of the ordinary person to learn to do more than he or she thought was possible.

(abbreviation of Do It Yourself) is a broad term that refers to a wide range of elements in non-mainstream society, such as; grassroots political and social activism, independent music, art and film.

Punk ideologies have often included a critical view of the world; seeing modern day societies as placing extensive limits on humanity. Punk ideologies are usually expressed through punk rock music, punk zines, independently-published literature and spoken word recordings.

In the late 1970s, the punk movement was operating in an environment controlled by outside influences. Because this impinged on the freedom of the movement, people in the punk scene began creating their own record labels, organizing their own concerts, and creating their own print media. This became known as the do it yourself (DIY) ethic. “Don’t hate the media, become the media” is a motto of this movement.