The Campanologists Teacup: A Creative Collaboration of Technology and Making
Plymouth College of Art
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This paper explores intersections of technology, making and material process in ways that go beyond the current paradigm of digital fabrication techniques and craft practice, through an artists report on a collaborative project that brings together ceramics and electronics. The Camponologists Teacup (2015) is a ceramic and kinetic sound art work made by Ingrid Murphy and Jon pigott, exhibited as part of the Sensorial Object exhibition in Cardiff Craft in the Bay and subsequently selected for exhibition at the forthcoming British Ceramics Biennial. The work explores the material quality of ceramic form through its sonic qualities by way of a custom made electromechanical system that bounces a ball around the inside of ceramic gramophone horns. The kinetic activity is triggered by the audience tapping a small teacup in a manor that traditionally would have been used to investigate the quality and integrity of a piece of ceramics. The result is an interactive and kinetic sound piece that produces a subtle and intriguing soundscape from a series of unusual and striking ceramic forms. The work brings together two distinct approaches to technology and craft. Murphy’s practice combines traditional ceramic processes with new technologies and digital approaches that enable both virtual and physical outcomes. Murphy research explores how technological constructs influence how we conceive, produce and percieve the crafted object. Pigott’s work has most recently focussed on sound producing electromechanical sculpture. Often kinetic in nature his work typically contains elements of hand made and hand assembled electronics and electro-mechanics, while a core value always remains the sounding quality of material form. This paper explores the context for this type of practice as partly informed by the handmade electronics and technological intervention that emerged from creative activities of the1960s, a time when practices such as kinetic sculpture and experimental music were influenced by developments in systems engineering and burgeoning digital technologies. The Camponologists Teacup represents an original culmination of two identifiable and distinct strands which form the intersection of the maker movement, those of traditional craft skills, combined with hand made electronics. This paper explores these two fields of making and the ways in which they relate to and reflect on each other within the collaborative project. This presents possible alternative ways of thinking about the bringing together of technology and material process outside of the established, commercially available black boxes of digital fabrication.
Making Futures Journal;
Pigott,J. Murphy, I. (2016) 'The Campanologists Teacup: A Creative Collaboration of Technology and Making', Making Futures Journal Vol 4. http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk/2015/journal-home/current-journal/
This paper was presented at Making Futures conference at Mount Edgcumbe House on the River Tamar opposite the City of Plymouth, Devon, UK in September 2015, available at http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk/2015/journal-home/current-journal/
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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