Manufractured Exhibition

From left to right: Harriete Estel Berman, Square Yard of Grass, 1998, recycled tin containers copper base, photo credit Peter Cohen. Mitra Fabian, Proliferation Series, 2005, tape, mixed media. Liz Hickok, The City, 2005, San Francisco in Jell-O series, C-print of original sculpture.

Oliver Art Center, California College of the Arts, Oakland
March 15 – April 1, 2011
Curated by Steven Skov Holt & Mara Holt Skov

Featuring works by Michele Pred, Laurel Roth, Andy Diaz Hope, Thomas Wold, Liz Hickok, Harriete Estel Berman, Mitra Fabian, and emiko oye.
Artists’ reception: March 30, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Closing reception: April 1, 3 – 4 p.m.
Gallery hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – noon, 1 – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 1 – 4:30 pm
The gallery will be closed for spring break March 21-25.
Increasingly, artists, craftspeople, and designers from around the world are gathering familiar mass-produced goods as their new raw materials, using both pristine products and castoffs to create works that are completely unexpected, while at the same time surprisingly familiar. The result is a collection of pioneering work from a wide range of artists who successfully combine the industrially uniform with the uniquely handmade.
Within the Manufractured projects, consumer goods have been mixed and multiplied until they are conspicuously transformed, most often through time-honored, labor-intensive, resolutely hands-on repetitive processes. Inspired by art, design, and craft practices that are fundamentally interconnected—and drawing liberally from each of these increasingly permeable disciplines—these artists have pioneered a hybrid aesthetic that succeeds at all sizes and scales. As a result, they have revealed hidden dimensions to even the most prosaic of products as they have thrown a spotlight on the inspired ways in which the human mind (and hand) can create significant meaning from previously overlooked sources.
Manufractured highlights a variety of pieces from Bay Area practitioners whose work embodies the active and thoughtful accumulation, organization, and transformation of familiar products through a novel combination of hand, tool, machine, and digital processes. Ultimately, the projects presented in the exhibition point the way forward to meaningful change, new aesthetic possibilities, an expanded sense of both beauty and utility, and perhaps most significantly, a reaffirmed sense of hope that is resident in, and integral to, the creative process itself.
Remarkably this phenomenon has been taking place at a time when even the most optimistic observers of the arts were wondering (again) if it were possible today to create anything truly new. While it does not fully answer society’s pressing environmental questions, Manufractured points the way forward toward a host of possibilities for both materials sourcing and object making.
Exhibition curators and CCA professors Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov first introduced this new class of objects in the book Manufractured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects (Chronicle Books, 2008) and the accompanying exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon. They continue to gather evidence that the global phenomenon of Manufractured is one of the foremost—and most forward—phenomena taking place in art, craft, and design today.