Artists respond to technology’s ubiquity by combining traditional crafting methods with electronic media. The New Materiality
, a traveling show curated by Fo Wilson of The Fuller Craft Museum, assesses the boundaries between the handmade and the automated, the traditional and the contemporary. Among the work presented: Videos of oak trees embedded into a classically crafted wooden table, jewelry constructed from pixelated low resolution images of gems, woven tapestries depicting the sound waves of hand-operated and mechanized looms, and hand-blown glass vessels ornamented with cast glass encasing mini videos that pay homage to books.
There are a few glitches in the presentation: some batteries need recharging, and not everything is operating at its fullest capacity. These issues point to a larger issue regarding electronic technology’s fragility and dependence upon finite resources. Considering the multifaceted creative legacy of Western North Carolina, this exhibit is highly relevant to the local dialogue of contemporary art and craft, and is worth seeing. Kudos to the museum for exhibiting new media.
Through March 18 at the Asheville Art Museum. $8 for nonmembers. Free every first Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. http://www.ashevilleartmuseum.org.
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