Global New Voices: Art, Craft & Industry

19 - 20 November 2020

The Association for Art History’s annual New Voices conference will, this year, take place virtually, over two-days rather than one. This longstanding event for postgraduate research will also take advantage of the digital format and expand into a GLOBAL New Voices, which will host even more international research and practice.

The relationship between art and ideas of craft and industry is long and complex. The latter are often conceived in antithetical terms, with hand-produced, unique ‘art’ objects positioned on the one hand, and mass-produced, industrially made commodities placed at the other. The art historical meanings of ‘craft’ are similarly varied, referring to an interrelated set of practices, categories, and actions. As verb, noun, and adjective in its various forms, craft can denote the physical act of labour; a category of material production; or something judged to be of a certain level of quality. When used as a descriptor of creative practices, the word craft encompasses a broad range of material production, from ceramics, textiles and metalwork, to fashion, design, and amateur practice. At the same time, “craft” can stand as a synonym for how both things and people are “made”. The programme accordingly seeks to explore these complex intersections between art, craft, and industry, concerns which have so often shaped the history of art as a discipline.

This year’s New Voices programme will showcase research from international Masters and PhD students exploring these issues over any historical period or geographic region. The two-day online event will be an opportunity for researchers, makers and practice-researchers to open a dynamic discussion about the similarities, divergences and interconnectivity of art, craft and industry taking place around the world.

Global New Voices looks to cover a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

  • crafting and identity
  • representations of craft production and producers
  • theories, ideas, critiques, and endorsements of craft and industry
  • the arts and crafts movement
  • the relationship between art and craft
  • industrially-produced and hand-crafted objects

The conference will give equal visibility to researchers as well as makers and practice-researchers around the theme. There will be a panel specifically dedicated to facilitate discussion around practice and practice-research. There will also be potential for these individuals to run virtual ‘studio visits’ to showcase additional material such as works in progress, studio diaries, sketchbooks, and so on.

Global New Voices is organised by the Association for Art History’s DECR Committee. This year’s conference organisers are, Daniel Fountain, Freya Gowrley, Alicia Hughes and Gursimran Oberoi.

Image: Daniel Fountain, Faggoting, 2020. Courtesy of Daniel Fountain.