HOT GLUE and BANDAID FEMININITY

gluegunsdirect.com cite Paul Cope as the likely inventor of thermo plastic adhesive in the 1940’s, with possible precursors as early as 1907. Paul Cope would not have forseen the future for his invention which has spurned a leigion of semi-permanent fixtures and fixations in the world of contemporary craft.

From 26 AMAZING GLUE GUN LIFE HACKS FOR WOMEN to MILEY CYRUS KWEEN OF CRAFT the abject possibilities for pop craft seem abusurd, amusing, entertaining and somewhat depressing given their falibility towards again framing particularly white women within the realm of the ‘quick fix’ what I will call bandaid femininity. Bandaid femininity is the quick assumption that women will fix it, nurture it, decorate it and roll it in glitter. Though surely most modern women are past this point of performance in their lives, youtube, pinterest and craft stores everywhere are slow to the uptake. Craft materials are seriously bad for the environment, promoting surface superficiality and short lived joy, in the face of learning to do something properly.... what ever that something is, according to youtube, women overwhelming seem like they only exercise, do their make up and post shopping comments. Its a corner of youtube anyway. 

5-Minute Crafts GIRLY is the channel that posts mostly crafty quick fixes, from tie dye t-shirts to mobile phone hot glue gun undies, all in bright craft colour paper pallette production. Whats with that colour scheme? The realm of the comic, cartoon, fully saturated but completely sanitised humanity of the pop culture crap realm. 

I can see the development of this content from its beginnings in hippie culture see: tie-dye tees and Pink Floyd style rainbow triangle motifs, as well as ethnic styling see: 44 different ways to ties a scarf, 1980’s punk DIY yet stripped of all subversion. The result is a hypercolour, conservative earnestness that plys into body steryeotypes, un-examined positivity, seemingly un-politicised popular culture and reiterates to a bored internet audience who are too lazy to do any of the ‘hacks’ and also too lazy to delve any deeper. Not that there is any thing wrong with lazy, or fun. These are two areas that are undervalued in a work oriented world.

Searching for something a little more edgy on youtube yeilded the CRAFT PUNK weekend at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, where one participant decribed the ‘punk’ effect as bring a more modern edge to the craft. What exactly is modern about punk? Modern and punk seem to me to be quite oposing strategies in many regards, where ‘punk sub-culture’ is described on Wikipedia as having an ‘array of left wing ideologies’ incoorporated into it, where the world seems increasingly right wing as per Lacanian enthusiastAlenka Zupančič: Evening Lecture - "Stand Up for Comedy" 2019-06-16
We really don’t have many options. We are sold the right wing, or the right wing with craft hacks ontop. Punk dosen’t nessecarally equal left wing any more it just signals a lackadaisical attempt to be on the right side of things if that is even possible.

The realisation that we live in a world that shits all over repair, real reconcilliation or reparation to the oldest cultures in the world is more than shocking, and many artists are reaching again towards the glue gun to try address these imbalances.

TBC....