Woodbury University

Woodbury University

Burbank, CA | San Diego, CA

Deviant Artifacts: The Work of Radical Craft

Fri, Apr 12 '13
Burbank, CA, US

WEDGE Gallery, Woodbury School of Architecture
April 12–22, 2013
Reception: April 12, 6-8pm


The archaeological artifact is typically understood to embody the desires and intentions of individual creators as well as of entire cultures and historical movements. But recently, the term “artifact” has come to signify a measure of uncertainty in the relationship between intention and object. “Compression artifacts”—errors or aberrations within digital algorithms—distort information, or introduce new, unintended patterns that question the fidelity of virtual media. Deviant Artifacts showcases the dual role of the object within the studio practice of Radical Craft, at times operating in service of focused design trajectories, at others straying from project agendas in order to generate new forms, parameters, or fields of inquiry. Hand-crafted ceramic casts, digitally fabricated plaster molds, and ambiguously scaled “models” each offer material resistance to the idealized desires and geometries of proposals operating at the scales of architecture and urbanism.

Radical Craft, founded by Joshua G. Stein in 2005, is a Los Angeles-based studio that develops methods for the translation of craft operations into broader scales and domains. It recuperates the role that tradition and technique play in design and in a larger cultural context without forfeiting the advantages to both production and speculation that have been afforded by recent advances in digital technology. Exploring the production of urban spaces and artifacts through traditional or archaic phenomena (from archaeology to craft), the studio seeks to evolve newly grounded approaches to the challenges posed by contemporary virtuality, velocity, and globalization. Through public art projects, installations, and speculative proposals, Radical Craft works to reinflect urban and material patterns through a focus on the intersection of traditional craft and contemporary technology, unearthing outmoded concepts and strategies to inflect the current interest in novel technology.

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