"ThinkingJewellery" is an attempt to reflect on what jewellery is. It is about an interdisciplinary approach beyond the relevant categories of craft or art, applied or free: about exploring what jewellery is - not what it looks like. The need for adornment and jewellery has accompanied mankind as an anthropological constant from the very beginning. As an important cultural asset, jewellery is constantly reinterpreted in all eras. ThinkingJewellery brings together analyses and perspectives for action that are relevant to artistic practice.
Can the arts be satisfied with a role as a supplier of consumer goods on the cultural industry market? Or is it time to focus more on the political implications of art in order to deal more proactively with contemporary social issues?
At the beginning of the 20th century, when the industrial revolution had unhinged the old world, the response of modern art was a socio-politically understood programme for the reconciliation of science, technology and society through art.
Since the 1970s, this programme has been considered a failure. The unleashed economy of the post-industrial age and globalization have brought the earth to the brink of ecological collapse and exacerbated social injustice. At the same time, the late effects of colonization and the digital revolution have posed new cultural and political challenges. More profound changes are ahead than those of the industrial revolution.
ThinkingJewellery XII gathers - with jewellery in mind - exemplary analyses and discusses perspectives for action under the aspect of political premises.
Date: 12 - 17 October 2021
... at Campus Idar-Oberstein are:
Imagination and virtual worlds
Beyond its value of utility , noble material - gold, silver, noble stones - has a lasting existence above all because of its symbolic power. In the field of jewellery, the classic range of materials has been expanded to include many natural materials and plastics that can be recharged. In jewellery, too, art, the old master of fiction, utopian design and thus virtuality, outlasts time: Ars longa - vita brevis.
Meanwhile, it is not only physics that has long since abandoned the traditional notions of "solid" matter in dynamic cosmological models. The digital age is revolutionizing people's living conditions and, in particular, their social relations - probably to a greater extent than the invention of book printing at the beginning of the modern era.
Virtuality does not require proof of authenticity, nor real correspondence between material, form and colour. In view of these scenarios, which are also omnipresent, a longing for the authenticity of analog life, for a permanence and value grows, which materializes in the material and thus sensual presence of high-quality, identity-creating goods or in art.
The process of globalisation in all areas of life, accompanied by the escalation of economic and ecological crises, technological innovations taking place in ever faster succession, a hardly manageable supply of information and communication have led to a growing need for leisure and contemplation on the part of many people - in addition to a feeling of being overtaxed. They are regarded by many people as a source of a regained art of living. The contemplative life design opens the senses for aesthetic experience and creativity. For some it has become the gateway to a new spirituality.
ThinkingJewellery X puts the contemplative concept of life to the test. Does it lead to a retreat into the private sphere and a rejection of social responsibility - or can it become a source of strength for creativity and worldliness in the sense of an argument for a peaceful policy based on mindfulness and sustainability?
The need for adornment and jewellery has accompanied mankind as an anthropological constant from the very beginning. As an important cultural asset, jewellery is reinterpreted time and again in all eras. The age of postmodernism is for many an apocalyptic complex of crises: ecological crisis, financial crisis, crisis of justice. In the age of globalization and social division, politics increasingly appears to be incapable of action, despite all the conjurations of the lack of alternatives to one's own actions. At the same time - not only in fashion or advertising - a new regime of the aestheticization of everyday life is emerging, at the end of which the self-presentation of the individual in the net takes the place of real relationships. SchmuckDenken 9 gathers - under consideration of jewellery - exemplary analyses and discusses perspectives for action under the aspect of ethical premises.
The 8th edition of ThinkingJewellery critically deals with the responsibility of art in a world that is endangered by the human being and the ideology of unlimited growth. Once again, it is focussed on the role of the jewellery artist within the society and his responsibility. Besides this ethical question it also deals with the question if art and aesthetic experi- ence will promote the process of the scientific perception and interpretation of the world and which role the traditional materials of jewellery art, gold and gemstones play or can possibly play within this context.
Prof. Theo Smeets, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Dept. of Gemstone and Jewellery Design, Idar-Obertein, DE
Thinking Materials – Forming Ideas
Prof. Dr. Jivan Astfalck, Director of School of Jewellery, Birmingham Institute of Arts and Design, Birmingham City University, Brimingham, UK
About the metaphor of growth – tour through an exhibition project
Dr. Holger Kube Ventura, Director of the Kunstverein Frankfurt/Main, DE
About the metaphor of growth – performance
Armin Chodzinski, Performance Artist) Hamburg, DE
The near mirror – Philosophy and Art in the 20th century
Prof. Dr. Uwe Voigt, Philosopher, Professor for Analytical Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, University Augsburg, DE
The double gold. The birth of money from the spirit of jewellery.
Dr. Pravu Mazumdar, Philosopher, Munich, DE
On the iconography of gemstones
Wilhelm Lindemann, Curator of the city of Idar-Oberstein, DE
Daniel Kruger: Vita and Work
Prof. Daniel Kruger, Professor for Jewellery Design, HdK Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, DE
The 7th ‘SchmuckDenken’ will strike a balance between the symposia to date and identify the initial contours of a theory of jewellery.
At the same time, possible parameters for strategies for action for an autonomous creative practice of applied art in the conflicting demands of craft, design and fine art will be developed. As a result, the focus this year will be on the artistic identity of jewellery creators and their social role and responsibility.
A book ‘ThinkingJewellery - A theory of jewellery’ will be published by the ARNOLDSCHE Verlagsanstalt Stuttgart to mark the 7th colloquium. The book includes a selection of articles from the years 2005-2010 and also contains around 100 illustrations of works of students and graduates which provide an appraisal of the current situation of the field of study of Precious Stone and Jewellery Design.
Prologue, 'Thinking Jewellery 2005-2011: On the way to developing a theory of jewellery’
Wilhelm Lindemann, chairman, Idar-Oberstein, DE
The masquerades of identity – on the costume art of Leigh Bowery
Prof. Dr. Gunnar Schmidt, Professor of Theory and Practice of Intermedia Design at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, Trier,. DE
Jewellery artist in the GDR
Uta Feiler, Jewellery artist, Erfurt, DE
Jewellery in context
Dr. Marjan Unger, art historian and publicist Bussum, NL
Impact of Signs and Design Ethics
Prof. PD Dr. habil. Angelika Karger, Professor of design theory, University of applied Sciences, Schwäbisch Gmünd, DE, and assistant professor of sciences, University Stuttgart, DE
Applied uncertainty, a doubt in process
Gemma Draper, Jewellery artist, Barcelona, ES
The jewellery of beauty and the beauty of jewellery
Prof. Dr. Martin Seel, Professor of Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main, DE.
Modern tool or ancient medicine? Thoughts on being a jeweller
Prof. Theo Smeets, Professor of Jewellery Design, Department of Gemstones and Jewellery, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Idar-Oberstein, DE
This year the 6th colloquium deals with the all-embracing tendencies
towards globalization, which operate at every level – economic, political and cultural. The focus is on the cultural and artistic global interdependencies of the past and present and also considers their effects on jewellery. In the process, the theme will be exemplified in detail, taking art in the Islamic world as an example.
‘Schmuck-Denken 2009’ places the focus on jewellery as an object. Jewellery can be many things: It definitely comes under the category of loved objects (Habermas), with which their owner develops a very personal relationship. As a personal object which is a part of the character of its wearer, it supports him or her in their self-development and the profiling of their personality, both internally and externally. Sometimes jewellery becomes a fetish, thereby even acquiring its own power to act. At all events, jewellery can be described as an attribute. Jewellery in the sense of an attribute raises the question of identification. Marjan Unger reflects the theories of Allison Lurie when she writes: ‘I don’t wish to place too much emphasis on the point that ‘jewellery’ behaves like ‘language’, but rather that it contains a language. The vocabulary would be the types of jewellery, supplemented by the symbolism of the forms, colours, motifs and any other references. The grammar would be how and when jewellery is worn and also who owns what pieces and who does not. In short: how people interact with jewellery.’
Wilhelm Lindemann, Chairman, Idar-Oberstein, DE
On the product-aesthetic education of human beings
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, professor of art history and media theory at the University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe, DE
West African fetish cult and European fetishism’)
Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kohl, professor at the Institute for Historical Ethnology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, DE
Assignments – post from heaven
Truike Verdegaal, Jewellery Artist, Amsterdam, NL
Diamonds are a girl's best friend – on the psychology of jewellery
Prof. Dr. Tilmann Habermas, professor at the Institute for Psychology, area of study psychoanalysis, at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, DE
The magic object in modernity. An anthropological con- stant?
Dr. Viola Altrichter, cultural sociologist, Berlin, DE
Drs. Liesbeth den Besten MA, Art Historian, Chairwoman of the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, Amsterdam, NL
Drs. Marjan Unger, Art Historian and Publicist, Bussum, NL
In 2008, our 4th Symposium is dedicated to the ornament. Is jewellery per se decorating? Are there contemporary ornamental means of expression? What is their social context? Scientist and artists are discussing these controversial questions about the influences of the ornament on jewellery and society.
Wilhelm Lindemann, Chairman, Idar-Oberstein, DE
especially bananas: the ornament according to Adolf Loos or the evolution of culture
Dr. Christina Threuter, Art Sciencist, Trier University, DE
Gijs Bakker and the ornament
Gijs Bakker, Designer, Amsterdam, NL
Beuys’ social sculptures)
Johannes Stüttgen, Artist, Düsseldorf
a critical theory on ornament
Prof. Dr. Burghard Schmidt, professor of language and aesthetics – University of Art, Offenbach, DE
“since beauty is nothing but the beginning of the terrifying“ (Rilke) – Notes on symmetry and the breaking of symmetry in cognition and aesthetics
Prof. Dr. Helmut Neunzert, em. Professor of Mathematics, Technical University Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, DE, Fraunhofer ITWM, Kaiserslautern, DE
“those nice manners in fact ruin the beautiful melody“ Ornamentals and style in 18th century music
Prof. Reinhard Bahr, Professor for Ornamentation at the University of Music and Theatre Hamburg, DE
is jewellery art?)
Peter Egli, artist and author, Bern, CH
Jewellery. To be
Lin Cheung, artist, London, UK
My longing for the market of Samarkand
Marjan Unger, art historician, Sandberg-Institut, Amsterdam, NL
The 3rd colloquium “Schmuck-Denken” 2007 is still in search of a jewellery theory with the focus on the complex relationship between beauty and uniformity. As an element of pursuing acceptance, jewellery can become a tool of conformity. It also can become an instrument of non-conformity when it is used as a provocative attempt to separate oneself from society. On the other hand, it is conformist, in the case of the jewellery demonstrating an affiliation to a sub-cultural group.
The colloquium "ThinkingJewellery 2" focuses on the artistic and art theoretical discourse on jewellery. The starting point of the debate will be contributions by conceptually working artists. Their positions will be supplemented and deepened by theoretical contributions. This is an attempt to formulate the initial question about the nature of jewellery in concrete terms and to provide exemplary answers.
Willi Lindemann, chairman, Idar-Oberstein. DE
An object oft beauty
Suska Mackert, artist, Amsterdam, NL, and Berlin, DE
Manfred Nisslmüller, artist, Wien
Jivan Astfalck, artist, Senior Research Fellow and MA course director, School of Jewellery, Birmingham, UK
Body - Limb - Jewellery
Willi Lindemann, chairman, Idar-Oberstein. DE
Schmuck im Aufbruch: Schnittstellen in der Begegnung von Schmuck und Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert
Dr. Ellen Mauerer-Zilioli, Art historian and gallery owner, Desenzano de Garda, IT
Man and the natural environment: sociological approach to the temporalities of stone
Emmanuel Gleyze, sociologist, Université Paul Valérie, Montpellier, FR
Hinter Glas – Schmuck als musealer Gegenstand
Dr. Cornelie Holzach, Art historian and director of the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum, Pforzheim, DE
Behind the at first glance somewhat strange sounding title "ThinkingJewellery" is an attempt to reflect on what jewellery is.
What seems particularly disconcerting is the idea of trying to grasp such a sensual matter in a mental, i.e. non-sensual way.It is about an interdisciplinary approach beyond the relevant categories of craft or art, applied or free: about exploring what makes jewellery - not what it looks like.It is easy to see that the answer to this question is not easily given: neither would it be a satisfactory answer that it is the task of jewellery to decorate - this would be a mere tautology. Even though the formal language of the jewellery can be quite artistic, it is still a self-referential work of art in the true sense of the word. Perhaps jewelry should rather be described as a special kind of personal objects that have a special relationship to the bodies and personalities of the wearers of jewelry. In 2005 poses the question of the nature of jewelry - not from the perspective of jewelry designers or art history.
This year's colloquium brings together ethnologists, philosophers, artists, natural and cultural scientists for a first look at the "beloved objects", quasi from outside.
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