• Wondering about craft: From imagined bodies to bodies of imagination.

Curran, Fiona, 2019, Conference or Workshop, Wondering about craft: From imagined bodies to bodies of imagination. at Craft(ing) the Body, Crafts Study Centre, University of Creative Arts, Farnham, 22 May 2019.

Abstract or Description:

This paper - the title of which borrows from Isabelle Stengers’ ‘Wondering about materialism’ (2011) - considers the ceramic and textile material craft practices of the artist Francis Upritchard. It reflects on the artist’s crafting of imaginary bodies as a means to poetically speculate on the crafting of the posthuman body and will consider how hybrid bodies provoke a shift in thinking about the body per se. From Donna Haraway’s cyborg bodies to Rosi Bradotti’s post-anthropocentric bodies feminist theory has located itself at the shifting boundaries of the human, arguing that the crafted body is an imaginative resource for re-thinking politics and the social contract. In this paper I focus on craft as a form of discovery and curiosity, of performative and haptic sensitivity, and as a relational nexus between body, material and environment that produces wonder in the twofold sense of both surprise and speculation in the face of the unknown.

Feminist materialist discourse has identified the significance of the speculative as a material process. This move to resituate the speculative in relation to the material world reintroduces the body back into the politics of knowledge production. It calls for a critical and creative re-worlding to take place that foregrounds knowledge as both embodied and embedded. This re-worlding is both a necessary response to and a product of the entanglements of the natural and the technological that now define our species present. As humans ‘we’ are now in the process of becoming (or have already become) more-than human. This shift calls for new forms of creativity and new (or reconfigured) bodies of knowledge that might help us to navigate our way in an uncertain and rapidly changing techno-ecological present. I argue that craft practices and craft thinking have a significant role to play in this process.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2019 19:31
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 15:23
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4082
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