Almenberg, Gustaf. Notes on Participatory Art: Toward a Manifesto Differentiating It from Open Work, Interactive Art and Relational Art. Central Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse, 2010.

Arnheim, Rudolf. Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971.

Quote: “Entropy theory is indeed a first attempt to deal with global form; but it has not been dealing with structure. All it says is that a large sum of elements may have properties not found in a smaller sample of them.”

Quote: “Entropy theory, on the other hand, is not concerned with the probability of succession in a series of items but with the overall distribution of kinds of items in a given arrangement.”

Astfalck, Jivan, Caroline Broadhead, and Paul Derrez. New directions in jewellery. London: Black Dog Pub., 2005.

Barthes, Roland. Camera lucida: reflections on photography. Pbk. ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2010

Summary: Roland Barthes’ book Camera Lucida was published in 1980. In the book Barthes frames the power of photography using the terms studium and punctum, stating “the studium is always coded, the punctum is not […] It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs…” The studium is, as Barthes describes, a general enthusiasm for photography, which may be related to culture or class, but is general. Many people can share the same relationship to the studium of a photograph. The second element of a photograph, which may not be present in all photographs or in a single photograph for all people, is the punctum. As Walter Benjamin wrote of a ‘tiny spark’ in his essay “Little History of Photography” (1931), Barthes states this punctum “will break (or punctuate) the studium. This time it is not I who seek it out (as I invest the field of the studium with my sovereign consciousness), it is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. […] A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me), is poignant to me.”

            Barthes began to reflect on studium and punctum, and in fact wrote Camera Lucida after the death of his mother and discovering a photograph of her as a child. He calls this photo The Winter Garden Photograph. Although he reproduces many photographs in Camera Lucida, he does not reproduce The Winter Garden Photograph, writing only, “I cannot reproduce the Winter Garden Photograph. It exists only for me. For you, it would be nothing but an indifferent picture, one of the thousand manifestations of the “ordinary.” Barthes cannot reproduce The Winter Garden Photograph for an audience because it would be pure studium.

            Quote on the “Madness of Photography”: “Painting can feign reality without having seen it. […] in photography I can never deny that the thing has been there. There is a superimposition here: of reality and the past. [The photograph] makes me lift my head, allows me to compute life, death, the inexorable extinction of the generations […] I am the reference of every photograph, and this is what generated my astonishment in addressing myself to the fundamental question: why is it that I am alive here and now? […] more than other arts, Photography offers an immediate presence to the world – a co-presence. This punctum, more or less blurred beneath the abundance and the disparity of contemporary photographs is vividly legible in historical photographs: there is always a defeat of Time in them: that is dead and that is going to die […] They have their whole lives before them; but they are dead (today), they are then already dead (yesterday).”

            Barthes continues, and expands: “The photograph then becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucinations: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modest, shared hallucination (on the one hand “it is not there,” on the other “but it has indeed been”): a mad image, chafed by reality.” The photograph attests to that which was, that which is, and to existence itself.

Barthes, Roland, and Stephen Heath. Image music and text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.

Barthes, Roland, and Stephen Heath. “The Death of the Author.” In Image music and text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.

Summary: Roland Barthes uses three terms in his essay The Death of the Author. The terms are ‘Author’, ‘scriptor’, and ‘text’. To unravel The Death of the Author one must understand the relationship between these three elements.

             Simply stated, a text is any object that can be “read,” whether an object, a piece of art, fashion, or a piece of literature.

                        In “The Death of the Author”, Barthes discusses the notion that the Author is a modern-day construct born of French Rationalism and the Protestant Reformation. Prior to this, the responsibility of the narrative would have fallen to a shaman or mediator, “whose ‘performance’… may possibly be admired but never his ‘genius’.” Barthes states, “the Author is thought to nourish the book, which is to say that he exists before it, thinks, suffers, lives for it. […] The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it.”

Vincent Van Gogh is an example of an Author. Van Gogh is an Author because when I see his work it is impossible to separate the myth of Van Gogh – his suffering, his madness, and his poverty – from his work. Barthes writes of the Author: “The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it.” Conversely, “The modern scriptor is born simultaneously with the text… For him…the hand, cut off from any voice, borne by a pure gesture of inscription (and not of expression), traces a field without origin—or which, at least, has no other origin than language itself, language which ceaselessly calls into question all origins.”

The scriptor knows that the language, signs, and imagery that already exist are his tools. “The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture…the writer can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original.” Barthes is stating that there are only so many letters in the alphabet and only so many words in our language, thus only a finite arrangement can be made from those letters and words. Barthes believes that the scriptor understands this and isn’t limited by it, but conversely, is invigorated and inspired by it.

“The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost.” It is because the reader sees all, the writing as well as the intertextuality of their own life experience, “a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination.” With every reading of a text the reader’s experience and impression of a work will change. The scriptor understands this.

“Once the Author is removed, the claim to decipher a text becomes quite futile. To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing.” The ‘death of the Author’ to bring forth ‘the birth of the reader’ is not the death of artistic or authorial intent. It is the birth of the viewer’s relationship to art. No longer is the role of the viewer passive.

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” 1936.

Benjamin, Walter, Michael William Jennings, Brigid Doherty, Thomas Y. Levin, and E. F. N. Jephcott. The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility, and other writings on media. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008.

Benjamin, Walter, Michael William Jennings, Brigid Doherty, Thomas Y. Levin, and E. F. N. Jephcott. “Little History of Photography.” In The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility, and other writings on media. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008.

Summary: One of Walter Benjamin’s most well-known essays on photography is “Little History of Photography”, published in 1931. In this essay he contradicts his most well-known definition of aura, from “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, which is that aura is only is only a quality of original, one-of-a-kind, objects and is site-specific. In “Little History of Photography,” he muses, “What is aura exactly? A strange web of space and time: the unique appearance of a distance, no matter how close it may be.” Miriam Hansen wrote in her essay Benjamin’s Aura, “aura is not an inherent property of persons or objects but pertains to the medium of perception, naming a particular structure of vision (though one not limited to the visual). More precisely, aura is itself a medium that defines the gaze of the human beings portrayed.”

Hansen goes on, quoting from Benjamin’s “Little History of Photography”, Experience of the aura . . . arises from the transposition of a response characteristic of human society to the relationship of the inanimate or nature with human beings. The person we look at, or who feels he is being looked at, looks at us in turn. To experience the aura of a phenomenon we look at means to invest it with the ability to look back at us.” Aura is the relationship of the viewer to the image or object, the time, and place, not in the place (location); it is the phenomenon of the gaze.

Benjamin, Walter, Michael William Jennings, Brigid Doherty, Thomas Y. Levin, and E. F. N. Jephcott. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility, and other writings on media. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008.

Bishop, Claire. “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics.” October, 2004, Pp. 51–79.

Bischoff, Manfred. Interview with Roberta Bernabei. Contemporary jewellers: interviews with European artists. New York City: Berg, 2011. 62-68.

Quote: Maker Manfred Bischoff states that he has little control (or care) if the wearers/viewers understand the premise of his work. He says: “I have no way to force people into my way of thinking […] I give them an entrance, possibilities, and sometimes confusion.”

Boym, Svetlana. “Death of the Author.” In Death in Quotation Marks: Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet, 99. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1991.

Reference: In 1871 French poet Arthur Rimbaud wrote in a letter, “Je est un autre” (“I is another”). Soshana Felman describes this seemingly incorrect use of grammar as a “violent and rigorous deconstruction” of the Cartesian ego. The ‘Cartesian ego’ refers to Descartes’ Cogito ergo sum (I am thinking, therefore I exist/I think therefore I am.) Many modern and contemporary philosophers disagree with this logic of this statement. “I am thinking, therefore I exist” can only attest to the existence of his mind, but not his body, of the existence of anyone else. RE: Jean-Paul Sartre, “I do not think, therefore I am a moustache.”

Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational aesthetics. Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2002. 7-40.

Broadhead, Maisie. “Jewellery Depicted (2009).” Maisie Broadhead. (accessed May 17, 2014).

Broadhead, Maisie. “Jewellery Depicted Part II (2010).” Maisie Broadhead. (accessed May 17, 2014).

Brain, Charles. Foldforming. Portland, Maine: Brynmorgen Press, 2008.

Cohn, Susan. “As Seen by Others: Photography as Strategy.” Metalsmith, 2013.

Quote: “Photographs tell us secrets. Sometimes knowingly, but more often than not, they reveal unconsciously reveal an intention, reinforce an attachment, or make a comment without saying much at all.”

Quote: “The photograph is not about making an object clear, but about making the object more real. This is different from reality itself…”

Both of these quotes I reference to illustrate the power of jewelry as “photographables.” The jewelry object and photograph become one, and the photograph is a stand-in for the wearer. This article is helping me work through my own notions of the importance of the relationship of the wearer in jewelry in general, as well as in my own work.

Craig, Gabriel. “Non-Functional or Dysfunctional?.” Conceptual Metal Smithing. (accessed January 11, 2014).

Cunningham, Jack. “Conclusion.” Jack Cunningham: Contemporary European Narrative Jewellery. (accessed May 17, 2014).

den Besten, Liesbeth. “Reading jewellery. Comments on narrative jewellery.” Klimt02. (accessed April 22, 2014).

den Besten, Liesbeth. “The Golden Standard of Schmuckashau .” Art Jewelry Forum. (accessed May 14, 2014).

den Besten, Liesbeth. On jewellery: a compendium of international contemporary art jewellery. Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 2011.

Quote: “In jewellery, as in fine art, images and titles can evoke stories in the mind of the viewer…Different viewers read images, text and events in different ways, and it is through this way that jewellery can gain narrative and associative meaning that goes beyond art history’s usual search for facts of origin, materiality and iconography.” (p63)

Quote: “There are two moments when meaning is created: ‘The first involves the author, but is no more “original” or “primary” than the second, whose subject is the reader.’…The narrative is in the piece, but it has to be stirred up by the viewer, who will complete it.”

Quote: “There is no fixed meaning. Meaning is a constellation of autobiographical and cultural attachments provided by the maker and the viewer…” (p100)

Reference: In the last passage den Besten is referencing Roland Barthes’ well-known quote, “text is…a multi-dimensional space…The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture.”

In all of the above statements she is reiterating Barthes’ sentiments that meaning is in a constant state of flux. Where does meaning reside? How much ownership does an artist have over meaning in a work?

Gali, André . “After the End of Contemporary Jewellery.” Norwegian Crafts. (accessed May 17, 2014).

Quote: “…Questions raised in the discussion, questions that always seem to come up whenever contemporary jewellery is discussed, and that have to do with identity: Is jewellery art or design? Should we call it author jewellery, contemporary jewellery, art jewellery, studio jewellery, or something completely different? Furthermore, what will it take to get the ‘message’ of contemporary jewellery out there, to get people to see that contemporary jewellery can be ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’, and that it has meaningful stories to tell about the body and the world?”

Reference: I really disliked this article because it represents succinctly, in my opinion, what is wrong with the insular jewelry field. I don’t know how we are supposed to communicate with ‘outsiders’ if we can’t communicate with each other. I have no idea how writing statements like this helps the community of jewelry.

Gill, Allison. “Deconstruction Fashion: The Making of Unfinished Decomposing and Re-assembled Clothes.” Fashion Theory, February 1, 1998.

Goring, Elizabeth. “Jewelry and Communication: Breaking the Code.” Metalsmith, 2006.

Quote: “Narrative jewelry is, by its very nature, intended to communicate… There is an important distinction between communication and expression…Communication implies a dialogue…It requires the viewer to come close to understanding the maker’s original intention. Expression is more internalized.”

Reference: Whenever I return to this article, I find something new. It is exceptionally well-written and thorough. Goring’s comments, not only on the maker-wearer-viewer model, but on the differences of communication and expression have really shaped my arguments in all of my writing recently.

Harris, Patricia, and David Lyon. “Manfred Bischoff’s Structuralist Jewelry – Metaphors in Metal.” Ganoksin. (accessed April 22, 2014).

Hansen, Miriam Bratu. “Benjamin’s Aura.”Critical Inquiry 34, no. 2 (2008): 336-375. (accessed September 25, 2014).

Reference: Walter Benjamin had multiple definitions of aura that contradict each other. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction was written in 1936 and in it he argues that the authenticity of an object’s aura is linked to its place in time and space and is unique only to non-mechanically reproduced objects: the authenticity of aura cannot be reproduced. Aura is site-specific. In other works, such as Little History of Photography, 1931, Benjamin has a different stance on aura than that found in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Benjamin wrote: (1) Aura is understood as “a strange weave of space and time: the unique appearance [apparition, semblance] of a distance, however near it may be” (or, “however close the thing that calls it forth”); and (2) aura understood as a form of perception that “invests” or endows a phenomenon with the “ability to look back at us,” to open its eyes or “lift its gaze.” These definitions differ slightly, particularly the second, from the definition of aura in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. When using the terms aura and authenticity in this paper, I am speaking of Benjamin’s definition of aura that is a phenomenology possible in all works of art – even forms that have no original (photography, film), rather his definition which is, as Bratu writes, “in mere opposition to, the technological media.”

Hushka, Rock. “Holding Objects: The Psychoanalytic Mechanisms of Wearing Jewelry.” Art Jewelry Forum. (accessed April 8, 2014).

Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” In Dialectic of enlightenment. 1944.

Quote: “The huge gleaming towers that shoot up everywhere are outward signs of the ingenious planning of international concerns, toward which the unleashed entrepreneurial system (whose monuments are a mass of gloomy houses and business premises in grimy, spiritless cities) was already hastening. Even now the older houses just outside the concrete city centers look like slums, and the new bungalows on the outskirts are at one with the flimsy structures of world fairs in their praise of technical progress and their built-in demand to be discarded after a short while like empty food cans.”

            Quote: “When the detail won its freedom, it became rebellious and, in the period from Romanticism to Expressionism, asserted itself as free expression, as a vehicle of protest against the organization. In music the single harmonic effect obliterated the awareness of form as a whole; in painting the individual color was stressed at the expense of pictorial composition; and in the novel psychology became more important than structure. The totality of the culture industry has put an end to this. Though concerned exclusively with effects, it crushes their insubordination and makes them subserve the formula, which replaces the work.”

Jameson, Frederic. “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” (accessed May 25, 2014).

Summary: In a paper titled Postmodernism and Consumer Society, Jameson writes of what he calls our “post-modern condition.” Jameson is highly critical of our current point in history. Postmodernity has morphed the past into a series of emptied-out styles (pastiche) that can be consumed and we are left with a fascination with the present. Jameseson describes the post-modern condition using the psychoanalytic term schizophrenia. In general use, ‘schizophrenia’ means a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements with an overall sense of mental fragmentation. To Jameson, it is the collapse of language and the breakdown of signs that has gotten us to this schizophrenic state; the schizophrenic “does not have our experience of temporal continuity […] but is condemned to live a perpetual present with which the various moments of his or her past have little connection and for which there is no conceivable future on the horizon.” In summary, it is the breakdown of language, where the signifier no longer has the same relationship with the signified, that has lead to one of the most significant features or practices in postmodernism, known as pastiche. Pastiche lends itself to the prevailing sense of a constant sameness and temporal discontinuity, this state of schizophrenia.

Quote on Parody: “Parody capitalizes on the uniqueness of these styles and seizes on their idiosyncrasies and eccentricities to produce an imitation which mocks the original. I won’t say that the satiric impulse is conscious in all forms of parody […] A good or great parodist has to have some secret sympathy for the original, just as a great mimic has to have the capacity to put himself/herself in the place of the person imitated […] The general effect of parody is – whether in sympathy or with malice – to cast ridicule on the private nature of these stylistic mannerisms and their excessiveness and eccentricity with respect to the way people normally speak or write. So there remains somewhere behind all parody the feeling that there is a linguistic norm in contrast to which the styles of the great modernists can be mocked.”

Quote on Pastiche: “Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique style, the wearing of a stylistic mask, speech in a dead language: but it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without parody’s ulterior motive, without the satirical impulse, without laughter, without that still latent feeling that there exists something normal compared to which what is being imitated is rather comic. Pastiche is blank parody, parody that has lost its sense of humor.”

Jameson, Frederic. “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” In Postmodernism and Its Discontents. Ed. E. Ann Kaplan. London: Verso, 1988. 13-29.

(1)The present text combines elements of two previously published essays: ‘Post modernism and Consumer Society,’ in The Anti-Aesthetic (Port Townsand, WA: Bay Press, 1983) and ‘Postmodernism: the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’, New Left Review 146 (July-August 1984).

Keane, Erin. “This Is Not a Painting: Ephemeral Art Symposium Explores Fleeting Nature of Art and Time.” WFPL. (accessed January 17, 2014).

Kivarkis, Anya. “Anya Kivarkis: September Issue.” Art Jewelry Forum: AJF BLOG, March 25, 2014. (accessed May 13, 2014).

Krauss, Alyssa Dee. “Anya Kivarkis: Blind Spot.” Metalsmith, 2008.

Lauf, Cornelia. “Concept Jewel.” In Manfred Bischoff exhibition, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, June 6-Sept. 22, 2002. Vienna: Schlebrügge, 2002. 14-18.

Longhi, Betty Helen, and Cynthia Eid. Creative metal forming. Brunswick, Maine: Brynmorgen Press, 2013.

Metcalf, Bruce. “Crafts: Second Class Citizens?.” Metalsmith, 1980.

Metcalf, Bruce. “On Abandoning Ignorance.” Metalsmith, 1989.

Reference: Bruce Metcalf’s paper allowed another voice to enter my paper, echoing my same concerns of a contemporary craft and jewelry field that does not engage in critical thinking. At times though, through Bruce’s other papers, you can see that he embraces an old idea of thinking (William Morris) and doesn’t seem to want to see ‘art’ and ‘craft’ engage in something meaningful. At points I’m not sure where Metcalf really stands. Possibly this is because I’ve read so many of his papers which span many years, and I have not read them chronologically.

Metcalf, Bruce. “The Problem of the Fountain (The Pissoir Problem).” Metalsmith, 2000.

Moignard, Elizabeth . “Narrative Jewellery & The Wearer: Elizabeth Moignard Essay.” Jack Cunningham: Contemporary European Narrative Jewellery. (accessed May 17, 2014).

Neil, Johnathan T.D. “Factum I Factum II.”Modern Painters, December 1, 2005, 76.

Neil, Johnathan T.D. “Factum II Factum I.”Modern Painters, December 1, 2005, 77.

Newman, Harold. An illustrated dictionary of jewelry. London: Thames & Hudson, 1987.

O’Sullivan, Simon. Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought beyond Representation. Basingstoke England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Rajchman, John. 1993 “The lightness of theory.” The Free Library. lightness of theory.-a014580141 (accessed May 23 2014)

Reference: Rajchman proposes an extreme upheaval of theory, that it is time to understand why postmodernism is so ‘dead.’ I stated in my paper as well that I understand and appreciate this sentiment, but calling for a ‘lightness in theory’ also demands first a knowledge about theory. Rajchman himself outlines the history of contemporary theory over the past eighty years before getting to his main point that we must abandon it. I sincerely hope that no one only reads this brief outline before saying that they know enough to ignore history.

Riggs, Kellie. “What Is It That You Do Exactly? Categorizing Contemporary Jewelry through Exhibitions.” Art Jewelry Forum. (accessed November 12, 2013).

Skinner, Damian. “A Künzli for Our Time?.” Art Jewelry Forum. (accessed April 7, 2014).

Reference: Damien Skinner’s piece on Künzli’s retrospective was an essential source for first-hand information about the exhibition. His review of the retrospective was multi-faceted and allowed me to see Künzli’s work from many angles. Clearly he appreciates the work of Künzli, but did not enjoy the exhibition. It cannot be easy to walk that line and he wrote an excellent, critical piece that was very informative and went beyond just describing the work present. It is often difficult to find critical writing about jewelry, and this is an excellent example of it.

Staal, Gert, and Ted Noten. “In Celebration of the Street: Manifesto of the New Jewellery.” Metalsmith, 2007.

Reference: Ted Noten’s manifesto added real weight to my argument because he is a well-known artist and maker. It was nice to see in print many of the things I have been thinking – articulated so well. It is difficult to say “we as jewelers are willfully ignorant” without having some credible sources behind you saying the same thing.

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Second Edition ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

The pervert’s guide to cinema. Film. Directed by Sophie Finnes. Frankfurt: Zweitausendeins, 2006.

The pervert’s guide to ideology. Film. Directed by Sophie Fines. S.I.: Zeitgeist Films, 2012.

Reference: In the first few section of the film The pervert’s guide to ideology, Žižek discusses how hard it is to leave an ideology by discussing the movie They Live (1988). The film, and Žižek’s commentary, is brilliant. He discusses why we as people don’t engage in critical thinking, and why we just accept what is told to us. He states that leaving and ideology is difficult, it is painful.

Turner, Ralph. Jewelry in Europe and America: new times, new thinking. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1996.

Quote: Ralph Turner writes of narrative jewelry, “So much work, however, that purports to be politically and socially relevant, is justified by pepping up the content with explanatory texts and manifestos. The issues are often invisible in the work themselves.”

Reference: I question why we engage in this practice. It is part of our ideology as artists?

Vigna, Lena. “Narrative Illusion: Jewelry from Painting.” Metalsmith, 2012.

Quote: “At what point is jewelry its most heavy with meaning? When worn? When depicted? When exchanged? When received? When modified?”

Reference: This quote became part of the backbone of my argument that jewelry is most powerful and full of meaning when it is being worn or depicted as being worn. I used this to form my thesis for my paper “The Rebirth of the Wearer”, and in turn used Otto Künzli (Ring for Two, 1980) as an example in this essay of a breakdown of communication between the maker and his audience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s