4th year studio
The course will focus on the idea of Rotational within the context of contemporary
Rotation comes into play in various ways when contemplating the relevance and
possibilities proposed by making today. To begin with, it must be pointed out that
rotational movement has been integral to craft technologies for centuries; wood and
marble turning, drilling, centrifugal precious-metals casting, yarn-spinning, pottery
throwing and so forth. Contemporary attitudes at times manipulate these traditional
making technologies, replacing materials, upgrading driving forces, rethinking
outcomes and integrating digital tools in the process.
The rotational experience for people is also associated with alternative states of
consciousness often brought-on during the manual tactile action of making things, as
well connected to spiritual and even religious well-being. Repetitive actions taken
while crafting an object create a meditative state, some craftspersons describe being
in what they are making. At the same time religious beliefs drive pilgrims rotationally
around the Kaaba in Mecca or around mt. Kailash in Tibet, Sufi Dervishes whirl,
Jews spin Dreidels - and celebrate the “hag” (Heb: holiday/circumvent) and Buddhist
monks turn prayer wheels.
The passing-down of a craft tradition, like our measurement of time, is rotational with
mother being replaced by daughter, being replaced by mother…while craft, like time,
changes as it travels. In what way does big data, digital fabrication and AI, touch
craft as it comes around again? How is craft passed-on in an age of social media,
accelerated multi-layered communication and information transfer?
A discussion of rotational will inevitably also include an identification of the axis
around which rotation occurs, whether mechanical or conceptual, a relationship will
have been established. Or as any ceramicist will tell you when you sit by the
potters-wheel for the first time: “find your center!”.
The course will be held in collaboration with the CAA - China Academy of Art.