18th Nov 2014 5:30pm
Talk by Elizabeth Kramer of Northumbria University.
The term ‘mania’ can be defined as a psychological disorder or a collective and obsessive enthusiasm for something. The objects associated with manias are often regarded as shoddy, mass or amateur produced goods arising from a momentary fad. Rather than writing off manias as debased cultural events indicative of irrational crowd mentality or dismissing the value of the objects associated with them as tat, this talk will approach the material culture of mania as a dynamic site for expression and social interaction.
Amateur craft produced during the Obama mania will be used to explore the ways in which the material culture of mania exhibits or elicits certain characteristics including novelty, nostalgia, accessibility, belonging and political and social engagement. Tim Ingold’s idea of craft as an art of inquiry, a way in which making is used not to simply represent the world but to open up our perception to what is happening so that we can respond, will also be considered in thinking about this amateur craft.