Crap Craft incorporates crap values.
For social creatures in a fluid universe this aspect is more crucial than any purported “practical” value. We “need” tools and implements, transport, storage vessels…. We don’t need THIS tool, this implement, etc. unless it articulates our values.
Further, when Technology becomes an article of faith, as expressed in the Belief in Progress, we are bombarded by a dogma that blinds us to our fundamental need to attune our existence to what-is. In effect, we are conditioned to ignore the violence – the incoherence – of our actions and expressions. So, as our powers to do harm increase, we are less and less capable of recognizing it. Seeing ourselves as hapless victims of a cruel world we force this shadow/projection outwards to justify the most cruel injustice, the most violent destruction – even as, precisely when, it is suicidal and ecocidal to do so.
Craft affords a practice where we have an opportunity – and life cannot offer anything more – to heed what will integrate us and pare away that which disintegrates, that which violates, that which is incoherent. It does this only if we take its parameters seriously. At the center is this responsibility to remain in dialogue with the meanings and values expressed by what we make.
To do this we need to open our selves to be aware of where and when violence and incoherence show themselves. Not just in gross criminal acts, but where they hide in plain sight in the realm we tend to dismiss as aesthetics.
This dismissal is disingenuous. Every died-in-the-wool pragmatist who insists they never look twice at a work of art unless it’s of a naked lady is moved by a “cool tool,” or that “sweet muscle car!”
What is he responding to?
A fetish for cold steel?
Well, maybe, but behind this is an unambiguous enthusiasm for the values these objects hold.
As Craftspeople we cannot remain willfully blind to this dynamic.