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Fast and Slow.

August 20, 2010

Again I was at another talk through Craft Month here in Northern Ireland, this time by Jorunn Veiteberg who is from Norway and writes on craft as part of Think Tank, KULVER  and is currently professor of curatorial studies and craft theory at Bergen National Academy of the Arts. The discussion was around the theme of Craft Month which is “Slow Down and Make”, Veiteberg arguing that the Slow Movement was a potential trap for the crafts as it could encourage  makers towards an idea of the crafts being a stable, conservative and nostalgic activity. Creative activity, it was argued, needs to be risk taking and progressive to remain relevant and reflective of current culture/society – if  it is stable, it is not growing, if it is not growing  it is static, or worse, dead. The speed issue of fast/slow really is not an issue at all,  the slow movement really is just a neat soundbite and marketing ploy. I think that the important element is that the work is considered, thought out with depth, the making takes as long as it takes dependant on the processes involved- some work is quick and spontaneous, others are more involved and intensive -neither is “better” than the other. Also the speed relates to how the object is “consumed” – again some work is intended to be considered- is more mediative in nature- objects that make you think, hence “slow”. Other work is consumed more directly- picked up and used, fulfilling its function “quickly” wether it is worn, watched, eaten from or filled. Both have a place, neither more important and are in fact are complimentary. Fast and slow – neither rules, both are better for the others existence as they sit to contrast one another- throwing their disparate qualities into relief.

Personally I see my approach as slow down and think- then make it as quick as I can…

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