Knitting, sewing, embroidery, lace and weaving can all be manufactured by machines and mass produced. Crochet is one of the only textile crafts that cannot be automated in this way. This gives crochet, as a artistic medium, a unique nuance when it is used to explore the nature of craft, hand fabrication and the impact of the machine and digital ages.
Made by Hand is a sculpture that is created to look like a textile printer...an imaginary crochet machine. The intertwining of digital futures and craft is unavoidable but how do we want that future to evolve? How can we ensure craft doesn't get swallowed up in the rush towards modern fabrication methods?
This artificial crochet machine is a glimpse into a new crafted future. This craft-fiction suggests an impossible alternate reality where the bliss of automated fabrication creates a fake that fetishizes the tactile qualities, imperfection, skill and tradition of textile craft. It even states in regularly repeated pixelated text that it is 'MADE BY HAND'. The mechanics are invisible and the crochet is pristine. Do robotic sheep dream of crochet machines?
cotton thread, acrylic
43 x 30 x 15 cm
Tina Fox, in conversation with Professor Ian Howard, discusses her work Made by Hand. Recorded on 12 October 2019 at the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize exhibition, Woollahra Council.
Judges of the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Professor Ross Harley (Dean of the Faculty of Art & Design and UNSW Chair of Arts and Culture), Louise Herron AM (Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House) and Tim Ross (Design and Architecture advocate, Broadcaster, Author and Comedian).
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