The open call for the main exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is open until September 30th! The concept and theme for the exhibition is “Ajavahe. Time Difference”.
The 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial, taking place from 14 April 2017 to 23 July 2017, invites individuals and groups from all fields of applied art and design to take part in the open call for the main exhibition. We welcome works in both digital and physical form that deal with topics relating to time, tempo, different notions of time, and approaches to time.
While Greek mythology used to depict time as the wise old man with a grey beard known as Chronos, the contemporary personification of him seems to be a younger scatter-brained individual who is rather nervous and constantly rushing about. Time and different ways of perceiving it are still an important topic: people are overwhelmed by the apparent overabundance of information, the lack of time and extremely fast-paced life. Both slowness (falling behind) and speed (extreme superficiality) have acquired equally negative connotations. At the same time, the sense of time is subjective.
The different tempos of time passing are also perceivable through the material world: efficiency and using the least amount of time are important in industry, to counterbalance this an opposing “slow movement” has evolved and encompasses different areas like fashion, raising children, urban studies, gardening, media and design. For example, the movement “slow goods”, which is more directly tied to applied art and design, values handicrafts instead of mass-produced products, and instead of anonymous factories that are located far away, it prefers the communal and local ways of producing, using high-quality sustainable materials. Valuing time differently in the production process speaks to different value systems
In parallel to dedicated creative work and valuing materials (the comeback for materials), a contrary process takes place – the dematerialisation due to digital technologies speeding up the exchange of information and work processes, among other areas, also in the fields of applied art and design. On the one hand, slowness or requiring a lot of time is specific to different fields of applied art. In addition to manual work, the artefacts that are being created require a lot of conceptualising, planning, (re-)inventing. In addition to the general idea of the object, a number of practical questions need a solution, starting from the intended use and function to the technical nuances. On the other hand, technologies simplify the thinking and planning phases (using computer programmes to create drawings and models, 3D printing, laser cutting) and speed up the process of work. Getting the created work to the viewer and marketing it also becomes faster and more efficient. Moreover, there are areas of design that enable quicker and more immediate reactions. For example, graphic design that engages with societal issues and events and adds a different perspective to these events thanks to the specifics of the medium. Applied art and design are in constant dialogue with their surroundings, and applied artists and designers as creatives offer unique viewpoints. And this does not mean that “fast” must mean nervous, impatient or unplanned acts – reacting to everything that happens around us is natural for a creative person.
As the perception of time is subjective, it is not perhaps so important to ask whether an artist can keep up with the pace, rather, the questions may be adaption – the desire and opportunity to choose between different tempos and find the balance; but does this result in changes in the artist’s brain or in the way they think?