presentation of accepted submitted academic paper to the conference "Material Culture, Craft & Community: Negotiating Objects Across Time & Place" at the Institute of Material Culture, University of Alberta, Canada,
May 20-21. 2011

paper summary:
Reconstructions
Charlotte Bik Bandlien (anthropologist) & Franz Petter Schmidt (artist)

In Sjølingstad Woolens Factory in southern Norway, artist Franz Schmidt discovered samples of exquisite, multicolored woven fabrics previously made at the factory (now turned into a museum), and decided to dedicate two years of his life to reconstruct them. Fascinated by this determined revitalization project, anthropologist Charlotte Bik Bandlien proposed a collaboration with Schmidt involving a synthetization of theory and practice in line with today’s strive towards capturing materiality after “the material turn” – which calls for an integrated methodological approach.

With a basis in Appadurais (1986) perspective on The Thing in Motion to shed light upon its valuations and meanings, Gells (1992) hermeneutic insights on The Technology of Enchantment and vice versa, and contemporary artistic practice related to the notion of archives, the paper discusses reconstructions on different levels – with emphasis on notions of value (re-valuation, re-contextualization in a glocal world, negotiating regimes of value in flux) as well as the construction and interpretation of the meanings of craft (dialectics between man and machine, towards a definition based on an approach) – relating the project to on-trend aspects as well as contemporary subversive tendencies.