Domain Shifts

‘Domain shift’ – a phrase coined by Richard Sennett in ‘The Craftsman’ is useful to explain the the movement of skills and ideas within a workshop environment. Sennett uses it to explain how a tool designed for one purpose becomes used for another – a form of appropriation and certainly seems linked to the practices of making, breaking and hacking in the field of contemporary technological arts. The domain shift also enables the movement of knowledge to cross borders (Sennett describes geographical / political domains here) and I would think that the switch from one use to another is precisely how something shifts across borders. Different cultures re-shaping the tools experienced elsewhere to fit their needs. How does the border of the domain shift become experienced across the small, localised space of the workshop? Within these spaces objects and materials are bent and appropriated to alternative needs suggested by participants and materials themselves. The impact from the form of one object or thing being shifted in its domain to act differently knocks on to the neighbouring objects and things. This resonance throughout the workshop is made of domain shifts and as the workshop physically and mentally adjusts to accommodate appropriated materials.

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