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Meaning in ‘Constructive Craft’ : Josef Albers's Perceptual Pedagogy

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2017, 52(), pp.333-375
  • DOI : *DOI10.17527/JASA.52.0.10
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : October 31, 2017

Sae-Mi Cho 1

1경기대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to identify the implications of ‘constructive craft’ that Josef Albers mentioned in his letters and essays, and to explore its present possibilities. Comparing the concept of Albers's ‘construction’ with that of his contemporary avant-garde writers and artists, such as Russian Constructivists and Dutch Neo-Plasticism artists' construction, this paper examined the historical foundation of the concept of ‘constructive craft’. Unlike Russian Constructivists, Albers maintained a certain distance with political tendencies. His position was also different from that of Theo van Doesburg whose theory on interaction was quite similar to that of albers. Van Doesburg insisted that the property itself constituted by exact mathematical laws, whereas the subject of the construction of Albers was more likely to be understood as a maker-centered practices and associated with educational purposes. Albers argued that 'constructive craft' is related to the development of will and opposes dilettantism, which suggests that the concept of constructive craft is based on empirical philosophy in terms of education. The characteristics of Albers's pedagogy could be summarized as the following. 1) It focuses on economy and efficiency, 2) It offers an opportunity to grasp the physical properties of materials and to experiment the possibility by giving a new order. and 3) Based on ethics, it is designed to experiment the imperfection of human perception. The meaning of craft mentioned was seldom related to craft made by artisanal labor or aesthetic craft objects made by skilled craftsmen. Instead, the constructive practice constantly experiments with relativity through the methodology of variants, which means a more thorough re-doing of a whole or of a part within a given scheme. ‘Constructive craft’ was a perceptual pedagogy related to how to see the world in depth, rather than a means to change the world. Constructive craft was therefore not intended to produce a concrete outcome but rather to encourage the active exploration of material contingencies.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.