The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur is a fascintating article in The Atlantic by William Deresiewicz on the history and market forces that have transformed craft based artists and artisans into business facing creatives.
Beautiful. Perfect craftsmanship. The dance within the negative space of the letterforms, with his left hand behind his back, is so elegant. Particularly on the S. Amazing stuff. (via someone on Facebook.)
An article in the Atlantic tonight about mounting protests in Turkey featured this photo of a man in a makeshift gas mask. It’s a pretty amazing assembly. The whole story of why he had to make it is another issue entirely, which I hate to gloss over but sometimes that’s what happens on here.
As far as I’m concerned, every third adult needs to know how to do this in a pinch, otherwise we’re all fucked.
Via the New York Times’ Lively Morgue blog, “In 1955, a 14-year-old with ambitions to go to the moon built a robot he named Gismo, winning the Industrial Arts Competition run by the Ford Motor Company. Gismo walked, talked and waved his arms, and he cost $15 to make. He was one of 72 examples of craftsmanship by teenagers on display at the Waldorf-Astoria.” (via silencematters)
So what’s wrong with us now? Can our kids still do this? Are they less educated? Less mechanically inclined? Are the tools of manufacture too complex and removed from them? Are the skills of manual labor devalued bu their surrounding people and culture?
I think the entire system of early childhood development and education is completely out of alignment with reasonable expectations for the life goals of the majority of American children and teaches them to devalue rudimentary materials and skills that were the grist for the mill of human innovation for millenia. I am percolating and bringing together ideas from a number of directions in which I’ working at the moment and hope to arrive at a cohesive early childhood educational philosophy in the next year or two.
There was a great piece on the state of American craftsmanship in the Times way back in July that I’ve taken forever to post… ” The Home Depot approach to craftsmanship — simplify it, dumb it down, hire a contractor — is one signal that mastering tools and working with one’s hands is receding in America as a hobby, as a valued skill, as a cultural influence that shaped thinking and behavior in vast sections of the country.” Read the whole article here.