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The book Techno Textiles published in 2005 deals with the subject matter featured in this issue and in the 14th ETN Conference in London
Photo: Techno Textiles
leats (TF 1/03, p
ichards: Steel/linen p
This issue is an invitation to book a lastminute flight to Žondon! The city will be the venue for discussions on the theme to which this issue is devoted.
As regards design, development, and production, the crafts receive great impetus from the digital world, which has the power to either trivialise or enhance the importance of crafts as the „technique of thinking hands“ working with materials.
Craftspeople who close their minds to the digital challenge diminish their professional competence because computeraided design and production enable people to explore the full complexity of the interaction between hand and mind, with far greater ease than they could without such aids. This interaction and widened range of experiences will be reflected in the shape of products, products which, due to the great mental effort and expenditure in time and materials involved, were once only accessible to a small elite, are now available to a wider public.
There is a lurking danger of trivialisation among producers who may know how to use new technologies, but have either superficial or no experience of the crafts. They tend to use craft clichés to push their products, at increasing speed, onto a market dominated by aesthetically undiscerning consumers. Public taste always seem to leg behind new media developments. We believe that the efforts of craftspeople (and design educators€ to enter into a symbiosis with the new media are still in their infancy. Those who attempt it fluctuate between euphoria and scepticism. Current results of such work still have an inherent appearance of the experimental, the whimsical, or the amazing, and sometimes of charlatanism. žeanwhile, the fashion for anything new and digital thrives. For instance, people talk about technology when referring to anything technical; it sounds trendier, as if the very logos was contained in all things technical. žoreover, we often read about digital textiles
or digital crafts, as if digital meant a property of the object or profession in question. After all, when past technologies were first introduced to aid production, we never referred to steam textiles or electric textiles.
All of these subjects and developments will be discussed at the ET� Conference, scheduled at the Žondon žetropolitan University from 1Šth to 17th September 2007; this issue features introductions by the speakers to their fields of work. Žast-minute registrations for the conference are still accepted! The up-to-date programme, including all special events and excursions, can be viewed on our website, http://www. ET�-net.org, where readers will also find the registration form.
iodes (TF Š/0š, p
Barbara Ž ayne: Ž
The photos on this page refer to contributions in former TF issues
Photo: Techno Textiles
IMPEDIMENTS TO TRAVEL FOR COLLEAGUES FROM OUTSIDE THE EU The European Textile �etwork, organiser of the ET� Conferences, has active members beyond the eastern and southeastern borders of the European Union, for instance Žudmila Egorova and Andrew Schneider from Kherson, Ukraine, who endeavour to attend all our conferences. They wrote to us that viewed from the outside, the Union increasingly takes on the appearance of what used to be known as the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics; as an example, they provided us with an eight-page document published by the British Embassy, entitled “Applying for a visa” (http://www.britishembassy.co.uk€. It is shocking enough that the EU states are erecting almost insurmountable regulatory barriers, raising obstacles that require time and money to overcome. Quite aside from that, travellers from Eastern Europe are often treated in degrading ways by embassies and consulates. We saw this for ourselves at the German Consulate in St. Petersburg, and heard it for ourselves when telephoning the Belgian Embassy in Kiev. Our experiences date from 199š and 1999. Andrew Schneider wrote recently that the situation has worsened still more over the past five years.
Žet us be conscious of the fact that currently we are rarely able to assemble all our European colleagues, nor will we be able to do so in the future. It appears that we are limited to inhabitants of Fortress EU and its allies! We know the long-term effects of political isolation; we have observed the fate of the USSR and comparable regimes...D. Laue