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News & Notes from the Fiber World

High Touch/High Tech in the Colorado Rockies


Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado, staged High Touch/High Tech, its second annual art symposium, August 11–14, 2005. Moderated by Barbara Bloemink, Curatorial Director at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, the event included a number of receptions hosted by Aspen collectors, whose example was the perfect segue for the Ranch’s annual fund-raising art auction, also held that weekend.

The symposium panelists, Martin Puryear, Richard Tuttle, Liza Lou, Barbara Bloemink, and Nick Cave. Courtesy of Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

Panel discussions addressed the relevance of handmade objects in a time when contemporary art is increasingly based in new technologies. On the first evening, digital artist Mark Tribe summarized the evolution of computer art by means of a visual catalog of the work of its practitioners. Tribe’s presentation, while updating the audience on his medium, represented the antithesis of the handmade, represented the following evening in the sculpture of Nick Cave (garments for performance), Liza Lou (beaded objects/installations), Martin Puryear (outdoor sculptures in varied materials), and Richard Tuttle (wall reliefs in varied materials). Whereas technology has assisted these practitioners, each values the craft—skill, time, and material—content in their art. They esteem the handmade but concur that “making” is still regarded pejoratively and that transcendence of the computer is what makes technology into art.

Next year Dan Cameron, senior curator at large of New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, will facilitate High Art in the Rockies. Details will be posted on

About the Author

D Wood is a design instructor in Tucson, Arizona, and a freelance writer who specializes in fine craft.



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