Crafting Protest

Panel Discussion & Craft Reception Sat 26 Jan 2008 3.00PM-5.00PM The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Admission: $8, free for all students as well as New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID
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Many contemporary artists are using craft as a largely unregulated place of protest where diverse and timely political statements are being made. This panel is presented as part of a series of talks on "Agency" and proposes that crafting, because it is so often social and communal, plays a vital role in the public sphere. The speakers examine the role of craft in forming national identities, especially in times of political turmoil or war; notions of patriotism; feminism and the domestic sphere; and economic models that circumvent conventional market models. The five artists will present projects and discuss their work under the broad rubric of "Crafting Protest." By linking the actual act of production and handmaking in the public realm to political expression, participants will ask: how can art foster political agency?

This program is presented concurrently with the release of the February issue of Modern Painters magazine, within which a roundtable discussion by the panelists is featured. Participants of this program have also collaborated on a large-scale knit banner to be unveiled at the event. Following the panel discussion, audience members are invited to an informal craft reception in which panelists will present tactile examples of the materials, machinery, and processes they use in their work.

Julia Bryan-Wilson, art historian and critic, University of California at Irvine

Liz Collins, artist/designer
Sabrina Gschwandtner, artist
Cat Mazza, artist/activist
Allison Smith, artist

This event is presented on occasion of the Vera List Center's program cycle on "Agency," and is co-sponsored by Modern Painters. Allison Smith is a 2007 Artists' Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). This presentation is co-sponsored by Artists & Audiences Exchange, a public program of NYFA. Special
thanks to Liz Collins and RISD Texiles for the use of their industrial knitting machine.