In pursuit of value

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


What follows is an exploration of the bounds of Material Intelligence in contemporary forms of making. While the physical work is autobiographical, and this research is broken up by anecdotal vignettes of my lived experience, the questions presented here are urgent and present. What is craft and where can it be most useful today? What objects hold stories, and how can we become more connected to these objects? In a world filled with the mass produced, I aim in this writing to showcase a different way of approaching material and making. A regard for old ways of seeing, and for a mindfulness when it comes to objects, stories, and spaces. This writing is my journey in pursuit of value. Through my own life, through various mentors, teachers, and lessons, I have learned to look to an object's origin to understand its value. Folk art (art of the people), the handmade, and traditional craft all ground us to place, time, experience or culture. I am not arguing that things must be done one way because it is tradition. Instead, I look at what these traditions provide beyond the object, which is often a communal experience of growth, appreciation, and learning. Craft can connect people across distance and time. To borrow a phrase from Glenn Adamson, I hope through this research to uncover a world of 'Fewer, Better Things'.




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