Art in the Making
“When future art historians look back at the present day, it is possible that it will be the sheer proliferation of our art that will strike them most, rather than its content. No era has created so much art, or art of such eclecticism. The profusion of artistic production in all its variety is bewildering, so much so that apart from its apparently unstoppable expansion, it seems impossible to summarize art’s tendencies in the past half-century or so... Yet there is one arena in which art today is changing dramatically, and departing radically from precedent: the ways that it is made.”
Art in the Making: Artists and Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing is a collaborative book project, written together with Julia-Bryan Wilson. Coming at the topic of art-making from two different directions – myself from craft studies, and Julia from postwar art history – we argue for the interpretive relevance of production. Moving from seemingly obvious topics like painting and woodworking to distributed authorship methods, like the hiring of fabricators and online outsourcing, we consider various ways of making art and the impact that productive decisions have on aesthetics and meaning.
Here’s a recent interview in which I discuss the book’s treatment of craft skill and art fabrication and another in which Julia and I discuss our joint authorship of the book.