Livetweets from ‘Placing cultural work: (new) intersections of location, craft, and creativity’

It’s a couple of weeks since Mark Banks and Susan Luckman’s CRESC-supported ‘Placing cultural work: (new) intersections of location, craft, and creativity’ symposium in Camden (click here for details). It was a fantastic event with a sizeable and highly engaged audience and all invited speakers, hence a remarkable degree of interconnection between presentations despite a wide thematic range (from Susan Luckman’s analysis of how craftspeople present themselves and their homes on Etsy to Ruth Bridgstock’s quantitative study of creative subject graduates’ career pathways in Australia to Nicola Thomas’s history of regional craft guilds in southwest England – not forgetting studies of boutique festivals by Marjana Johansson, the gendering of artistic identity by Stephanie Taylor, and Newcastle’s leftwing Amber film collective by Robert Hollands, plus Julia Bennett and Julie Brown’s account of new initiatives involving the Crafts Council). As for myself, I presented the first output from my ongoing ethnographic research in Hackney Wick. Here are the livetweets as a partial record of what was said.

Note that, while the tweets below start off being mostly from me, the balance thankfully shifted as Jon Swords, Megan Hoggins, Laura Mitchell, Mark Banks, and Jon W joined in. Responses from people not present at the seminar are also included, and I think I’ve included pretty much everything with the hashtag. Sorry if I’ve left anything out: Twitter has decided to hamstring its users’ search facility in some new and interesting way that I wasn’t able to get around (yes, even via the web interface, which used to have advantages over third party apps and the API).


‘What does local mean in the context of craft? Research and policy perspectives’

Julia Bennett (Crafts Council) & Julie Brown (Leeds University)

(N.B. Yes, that should be ‘Crafts Council’)

‘“Wandering into the realms of geography and craftsmanship”: exploring the spatial politics of craft practice, connections and livelihoods’

Nicola Thomas (Exeter University)

Questions for Julia Bennett, Julie Brown, and Nicola Thomas

‘Craft Workers Being At Work, At Home: Representing Labour, Home and Family on the Etsy Shopfront’

Susan Luckman (University of South Australia)

‘Creative career pathways, places and portfolios: Tracing the experiences of Australian cultural production graduates’

Ruth Bridgstock (Queensland University of Technology)

Questions for Susan Luckman and Ruth Bridgstock

‘Connection and avoidance: the creative potentials of place’

Stephanie Taylor (The Open University)

(N.B. If I may be permitted to interpose an interpretative comment here, Taylor is essentially talking about the ‘selfishness’ of not supporting a family by doing what might be considered a ‘proper job’. Such voluntary poverty is, I note, more typically presented as a self-sacrifice; calling it ‘selfishness’ draws attention to the fact that it is clearly easier and more socially acceptable for some people – especially childless men and ‘absent’ fathers of upper- or upper middle-class origin – than for others – especially working-class mothers – to maintain. I mention this because, the more I reflect on it, the more it seems like the unspoken subtext of a great deal of what I have seen and heard in contemporary bohemia.)

(N.B. If I may be forgiven for interrupting myself once more, this time for the sake of an utterly shameless plug – and, in fact, even if I may not be forgiven for it, because this is my website, mine! – the emergence of consensus on value is the kind of thing I explore in my work on cultural fields as networks of evaluation.)

‘Place, Creativity, and the Arts: A Case Study of the Newcastle-based Amber Collective’

Robert Hollands (Newcastle University)

Questions for Stephanie Taylor and Robert Hollands

‘Experiential co-creation in the context of the “boutique” festival’

Marjana Johansson (Essex University)

‘“Lots of rats and broken windows and oil on the floor”: bohemian nostalgia and the conflicted “regeneration” of Hackney Wick’

Daniel Allington (The Open University)

Remaining questions, group discussion, etc

Nobody seems to have livetweeted anything else that day. Sorry, you had to be there!