What role does the âmateriality of things' play in our relationship to the objects we create and consume?
The above question was the starting point of the Thingness exhibition and symposium held in Camberwell College of Arts in 2011. Second in series, Thingness: The Collection presents a group of objects selected from the Camberwell Collection. Along with an accompanying series of workshops and talks, the exhibition explores the âaffective' potential of objects, as well as a range of approaches by artists and designers working in response to archives and collections.
The Camberwell Collection originates from a circulating collection assembled by London County Council and later Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) for educational purposes. The items in the collection were collected and circulated in schools between 1951 and 1976. The collection was acquired by Camberwell College of Arts in 1990 following the disbandment of ILEA.
Thingness: The Collection will begin with a selected group of objects. Invited artists and designers will respond to the characteristics of the objects; what they infer as their âpresence' in a materialist sense or âphysiognomic appeal', rather than its intended function. In this way, we hope to bring to light the space between the intended meaning of objects and where the projected meanings and narratives may begin to emerge.
Thingness: The Collection is facilitated by Karen Richmond (Course Director, BA 3D Design, Camberwell College of Arts) and Maiko Tsutsumi (Subject Leader, MA Designer Maker, Camberwell College of Arts), in collaboration with David Garnett (Conservation Technical Staff, Camberwell College of Arts).
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