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Re: New Art Examiner

>The entire April issue of New Art Examiner focuses on craft and its
>relation to fine art.  Some might find it interesting :)  Although not
>specifically about the craft of bookbinding, many of the ideas and concepts
>presented are relevant.  Donald Kuspit, (a very good writer) predicts that
>fine art is coming to an end, and that only a return to craft can restore
>the dignity of the individual, because art is about making something , and
>that genuine craft is always the labor of love, which will gain appeal in
>our increasingly alienated technological society.
>"The sense of being engaged in a process of work that is at the economic
>bottom a means of accumulating capital undermines one's existential sense
>of individuality.  It is ultimalely altogether deindividualizing-
>robotizing.  Craft means repersonalization of work in a world of
>depersonalized work."
>Is there hope???

sounds like the 19th Century romanticized self rearing its head, over &
against the socially constructed, decentered self of late 20th Century life
& thought. I am not certain that one needs see that dispersed self concept
as negative, though. Or, if so, in the 19th Century way Keats saw it, when
he spoke of Negative Capability as necessary for the poet/artist, i.e.
existing amid doubts & confusions without always grasping after order
(that's paraphrased, and I'm not going to look it up now). I always thought
Keats was at least partly post-modern, ahead of his time. My guess is that a
return to craft, or an emphasis on craft, at this time in western history,
is going to mean something quite different than simply an anti-technological
stance, or an anti-capitalist stance. Just what, I'm not certain. And it
certainly means something quite different here than in the 80 or so per cent
of the world which is two hours or more away from a telephone, much less a
computer or an "alienated technological society."

But I look forward to reading the article by the always interesting Kuspit.
Thanks for calling attention to it.

charles alexander

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