Making is connecting I, craft empowers

December 12, 2011

I really liked David Gauntlett’s book, ‘Making is connecting’. His clear and readable writing style shed light on many issues I am concerned with. He provides well researched and -formulated arguments for the value of craft and everything to do with its resurgence both on and off line.

Craft is political

Gauntlett ‘s particular contribution with this book, is I think, to show that

the current rise of crafts is not some charming sideline to more important social changes, but it is an urgent political statement in its own right.

From creating our own clothes to making our own internet content, we are moving away from the ‘sit back and be told’ society to a ‘making and doing’ one- and that is individually empowering. He shows how the rise of internet has made it possible for the many users of open platforms (like YouTube) to form not only an alternative, but even a serious threat to mass-produced media entertainment.

People are not mindlessly accepting what the mass media is feeding them but are creating their own alternatives to reflect their views in the form of videos, zines and photo sites to name a few.  He says this choosing leads to a whole new perspective and potentially a political shift to how we deal with the world.

Craft creates community

Speaking of craft today, Gauntlett says that making things with one’s hands (or with software tools) take time. This slowness contrasts with our guzzling, fast-consumption society, and leads to self-reflection and eventually self knowledge. Seeing something through every step of creation from conception to realisation makes us more proactive and constructive.

Craft has become more than just a few individuals making nice things, there is now a sense of community and shared purpose, largely because of the internet.

continued in next post.

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