Craft on Demand: The New Politics of the Handmade is a forthcoming publication on contemporary craft politics edited by Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch. The book features new texts and artist projects by international scholars and practitioners who activate craft as a critical field for understanding and thinking through the most immediate political, economic, and aesthetic issues of our time.
For more than a century, craft has been positioned as both a fix and foil for capitalism and the alienating conditions of industrialization. Today the increased connections between craft, art, design, and manufacturing have paralleled dramatic shifts in the global economy, becoming virtually inseparable from capitalist modes of production and consumption. Contemporary interest in virtually every aspect of the handmade has found varied expressions through Do-It-Yourself, Craftivism, sustainable living, medical and military applications, and a new focus on labour and materiality in visual art and museum cultures. Practitioners have further hybridized craft media and processes through cross-disciplinary collaboration and digital culture, leading to new senses of craft’s relevance as a public discourse. Just as being ‘on demand’ signals a new relationship to production and consumption, Craft on Demand aims to rethink the role of the handmade in contemporary culture across a variety of sites.
Black and Burisch wish to acknowledge the support of Canada Council for the Arts, Grants to Independent Critics and Curators, Ontario Arts Council Craft Projects – Connections, and The Center for Craft Creativity and Design.