Making Futures: Crafting a Sustainable Modernity - Towards Maker Aesthetics of Production and Consumption (Sep 2017, Plymouth UK)

Dates: 21-22 September 2017 Location: Mount Edgcumbe Estate on the River Tamar, Plymouth, Devon, UK. Website: Making Futures Deadline for...

Dates: 21-22 September 2017
Location: Mount Edgcumbe Estate on the River Tamar, Plymouth, Devon, UK.
Website: Making Futures
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 22 May 2017

Building on the success of its four previous editions, Making Futures invites proposals for papers and presentations that address the main conference topic, thematic fields and workshops. Making Futures seeks to be broad and inclusive, and invites a diverse range of response, from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, Fab Lab and maker-movement enthusiasts, campaigners and activists, curators, historians and theorists.

CONFERENCE AIMS: Making Futures is a research platform exploring contemporary craft and maker movements as 'change agents' within 21st century society. Convinced of the transformative potential of small-scale making and its capacity to contribute to new progressive futures, our purpose is to examine and promote the possibilities for maker economies built around contemporary craft, neo-artisanal design-to-make and related creative micro-entrepreneurs and movements.

The September 2017 edition operates under the rubric 'crafting a sustainable modernity: towards a maker aesthetics of production and consumption'. The idea here is of reclaiming a craft future within a contemporary moment that (contested definitions of the present notwithstanding) still takes place essentially within the 'arc of Modernity'. Thus rather than seeing maker cultures as necessarily antithetical to contemporary Modernity, we want to see if we can frame emerging regimes of neo-artisanal production as part of a forward-looking attempt to reimagine a viable Modernity, one in which small-scale makers and micro-manufacturers try to innovate around technology, form, function, aesthetic meaning and social relevance - engaging in responsible (often place-based) market economics but striving to step outside the exploitative forms of commodification associated with the 'disembedded' global markets resonant of neo-liberalism.

KEYNOTES: we announce the following confirmed Keynote speakers:

Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar, Yale Center for British Art, USA, and author of "The Invention of Craft" will address our core theme by exploring how contemporary craft is a construct of modernity and, furthermore, how making skills have occupied pivotal roles throughout the formation of industrial modernity.

Professor Angela McRobbie, the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, and Mercator Fellow, Carl Von Ossietzy Universitat Oldenburg, Germany, will explore the post-industrial maker economy built around creative micro-entrepreneurs and small-scale fashion designers in Berlin as explored in her book "Be Creative, Making a Living in the New Culture Industries" to see what lessons might be gleaned from this example.

We will shortly be announcing additional keynotes contributing related points of departure.

WORKSHOPS: we are calling for submissions to three workshops that address 'crafting a sustainable modernity' by triangulating approaches to industry, care and community, and the broader social leadership contributions that contemporary makers might make:

  • Craft in Industry: in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.
  • The Well Maker Space: in collaboration with Community21, University of Brighton and University of Wolverhampton.
  • Making Leaders (Innovation & Change): in collaboration with CraftNet, the independent leadership and strategic development network for contemporary craft.  THEMATIC FIELDS: alternatively, submissions might address one of six themes:
  • Lifecycles of Material Worlds (Sustainability in Practice)
  • Craft in an Expanded Field -  Critical Perspectives on Consumerism
  • Translations Across Local-Global Divides
  • Materials & Processes of Making
  • Making Thinking (The Craft of Education) TWO EXHIBITIONS: will run during Making Futures:
  • We The People (are the work): a citywide exhibition that will build connections and collaborations that question our engagement with politics and identity, activated by a series of newly commissioned artworks by internationally renowned artists.
  • Plymouth Art Weekender: a three-day annual event that takes place across the city from the 22nd- 24th September 2017, showcasing a diverse range of events by local, national and international artists. In addition to the above two events, we expect to announce smaller on-site exhibitions at the Mount Edgcumbe conference location.

CONFERENCE BURSARIES: a limited bursary scheme is open to independent makers.



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The Trouble with Normal...: Making Futures: Crafting a Sustainable Modernity - Towards Maker Aesthetics of Production and Consumption (Sep 2017, Plymouth UK)
Making Futures: Crafting a Sustainable Modernity - Towards Maker Aesthetics of Production and Consumption (Sep 2017, Plymouth UK)
The Trouble with Normal...
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