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TBT! Handmade Nation

Here's another gem from my art history craft. We spent the final lecture class on handmade and indie craft and it was a total time capsule. I go to a lot of handmade sales as a shopper or a seller and noticed that the vibe of the shows has changed and I couldn't figure out why. That's because the "urban hipster aesthetic" has grown up some and the styles that were kind of out there and grungy are now mainstream. The markets have gotten slicker and less DIY seeming...and if other markets are like our original hipster market, the table prices have gone up up up. It used to be $160 for a table ten years ago, now it's over $300!

Anyway, my instructor highlighted a couple of problematic things with the video. One is that the guerilla knitting group Knitta Please which appropriated urban culture. The young folk in my class thought the group was trying too hard to be edgy with the name. Another is the artist that makes latch hook rugs out of pornographic pictures. The problem there is not so much the nudity, but there's something cringy about making a product featuring women's bodies that gets walked all over. As my instructor noted, sometimes there was a lack of criticality in the projects. Some of the artists featured are still quite active in the crafty scene. It's fascinating to go back in time.

There is a companion book of the same name. The documentary come out in 2009 - this clip is from 2007.

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August 2019


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