Catalytic Conversation: Craft Hyperobject Project
Sonja Dahl (Project Convener)
Jovencio de la Paz (Project Convener)
Brian Gillis (Project Convener)
Namita Gupta Wiggers (Publication Annotator)
Anya Kivarkis (Project Convener)
Bukola Koiki (Publication Annotator)
Stacy Jo Scott (Project Convener and Publication Annotator)
About the Craft Hyperobject Project:
On January 29, 2020, CFAR hosted a Catalytic Conversation to consider craft in proximity to and through the structure of the hyperobject, a term coined by Timothy Morton in his book Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World. Morton uses this term to explain objects so massively distributed in time and space that they transcend spatiotemporal specificity and/or legible, tangible, or discretely definable knowing. Discussants were interested in using the idea of a hyperobject as a framework to think about craft in ways that aren’t mired in old discourse or disproportionately focused on value binaries or relationships to other fields, but rather something that is of and in relation to craft on terms that are meaningful to related people and histories. This speculative conversation was among a small group of people with varied relationships to craft.
In advance of the conversation, discussants read Morton’s book to seed thinking and focus dialogue. They were asked to come prepared with preliminary thoughts and questions about the relationship between craft and hyperobjectivity, which will serve as the foundation for the conversation. The conversation itself was intended to be fluid, nonhierarchical, and speculative, using the 5 primary characteristics of the hyperobject (Viscosity, Nonlocality, Temporal Undulation, Phasing, and Interobjectivity – more on this below) to structure how the conversation operates. UO craft colleagues participated as hosts, group members and conveners charged with creating safe space for all voices.
Following the event, the transcription of the conversations will be annotated by three people present at the conversation: Namita Gupta Wiggers, Stacy Jo Scott, and Bukola Koiki. Once the first annotator responds to the transcription, that annotation + transcription will be passed to the second, and so on. A number of different ways this can be laid out in book form are under consideration, and we are leaning toward something where the main transcription and all of the annotations run parallel so as to obscure, deepen, and expand the conversation through an approach that is non-hierarchical, elucidating, complicating, and propositional in fresh ways. The transcription, annotations, and auxiliary texts will be printed in book form. Once printed, books will be distributed free of charge to ~250 artists, designers, curators, arts writers, and art institutions with a stake in craft around the world.