Jessica Hemmings

Textile Writer

What does post-disciplinarity mean for curation today?

Ruthin_Craft_CentrePractices in Between event, Ruthin, Wales

Disciplinary boundaries are now deemed passé – the world’s problems complex enough to demand solutions from teams versed in vastly different ways of thinking and working. But has the potential of collaboration become dangerously inflated? In the conventional workplace, American author Susan Cain recently observed, “Collaboration became the scared concept – the key multiplier for success. But then we took things a step further than the facts called for. We came to value transparency and to knock down walls – not only online but also in person. We failed to realise that what makes sense for the asynchronous, relatively autonomous interactions of the Internet might not work as well inside the face-to-face, politically charged, acoustically noisy confines of an open-plan office.” (2012, 85) Can what Cain observes of the work place be applied to the studio? Even while many of us try on for size what post-disciplinarity may really involve, craft and art remain, more often than not, distinct. These differences are often not apparent in the final object, but instead appear in the decisions that inform making. Much contemporary craft continues to prioritise process; processes that are often mind numbingly slow to watch. How are these values communicated to a viewer? And where are we to begin now that the walls are knocked down?