What is Craft? The binary nature of objects and the single nature of humans.




2019 CAP WRITING PRIZE | Commendation
“It’s powerful only because someone thinks it’s powerful and invests value in the object.” − Ai Weiwei

A great deal of time, thought and text have been expended either distinguishing the difference between Art and Craft or declaring the difference obsolete. The former speculation is often clumsy and not very helpful. The latter was, will and will always be a vain enterprise. The same cause drives the ineffectiveness of the first and the futility of the second. Every object, every person, theory or thought is binary: essential and political. Defining something as craft is a purely political act. Most definitions of craft are grounded in something essential to the object, its material or whether it was made by hand or machine. Humans are essentially political animals, however. The way objects are categorized may change, evolve, even become more egalitarian − but it will never disappear. Any functional definition of Craft has to be political. There is a political definition of craft that functions well. Many artists knowingly or instinctively subvert or support this dynamic in their work. Chris Antemann, Merek Cecula and Ai Weiwei do both.


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