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Crafts have accompanied mankind since the dawn of time, sustaining and reflecting the evolution of societies. However, the changes experienced in recent decades have been more rapid and profound than at any other time in history. So much so that certain voices are suggesting we christen our era with the name of Anthropocene (from the Greek anthropos, ‘being human’, and kainos, ‘new’), a new geological era marked by the substantial impact humans are having on their environment.

In this context, the link between artisans and society is undergoing a new transformation, a revolution in which matter is reformulated and opens the door to a new way of creating. The “Neo-matter” exhibition showcased until 19 May at the Centre artesania de Catalunya, a collaborative exhibition between Artesania Catalunya and Materfad, the Barcelona Materials Centre, seeked to give a voice to some of the materials that represent this change, in an overview that encompassed from a new approach to the natural world to the new avenues opened up by science and technology. And at the centre, the vital role of the artisan as creator and transformer of neo-matter.

The exhibition explored eight types of neo-matters: the plant one, the animal, the human, the residual, the reformulated—which transforms the perception we have of the most universal materials—, the digital, the reactive—with “active” or “intelligent” materials that are capable of modifying some of their characteristics—and the living neo-matter, which groups materials developed from living systems, setting out a model of cooperation with nature as an alternative to exploitation.


Banys Nous, 11
08002 Barcelona. Spain

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