THE WAYS OF THE HAND

December 18, 2014

Do-It-Yourself?  Is there any other way to make a life, other than by doing it yourself? The use of the short-hand term DIY in the United States (at least) signals a set of cultural shifts: in values, practices, and modes of production. The term has come to signify the valorization of domestic creativity and production, where the making of things is set in opposition to the consumption of mass-produced commodities.  It names the practice of making things out of disparate materials and components.  And it points to increased participation of individuals in the material production of the stuff of everyday life, ranging from the production of tools and clothing—the basics elements of human existence—to personalized aesthetic creations and creative solutions to infrastructural limitations.

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