Xtant

What does Ilse Crawford, Li Edelkoort and Trendstefan have in common? We all went to the craft and heritage event in Palma. Mallorca. What is it, and was it good? Here is the report from Xtant.

According to themselves, Xtant is a mix of Burning Man and a Ted Talk. And it is kind of difficult to put words to what this is. Around 70 exhibitors or representatives were presented in the manor house Can Vivot in the old town of Palma. But of course, also various talks and workshops in the city.

The exhibitors are here because they love craft. They love meeting each other and perhaps sell a bit. Yes, you can absolutely walk in here and buy a shirt, a broom, or a basket.

The whole concept is about meeting, sharing, and falling in love. So, it is almost more art than a design event. Like Katerina Knight who grow flowers, collect the petals, and then put them on strings to make a kind of weaving effect with these flowers. But you also have young entrepreneur Tot who wants to make us think about our wardrobes from a new perspective. You send him a couple of pieces and he takes these and makes a whole new garment. You could reuse that souvenir t-shirt you got ages ago and make it into a new thing. You only pay for his work,not the material.

And this is Xtant. 70 people meeting to talk about their passion in art, craft, materials and more.

And it is slow design. Don’t expect anyone to be commercial. Or even clear. There area few signs, and people move around. The girl with the brooms you saw the first day might be in a different corner the day after. But that’s fine.

Coming from Milan and all these other fairs it is very strange, or should I say unusual. But I must say, when you realise this is about passion and slow design, then this is really nice.

This is the fifth edition of Xtant, I heard there were more installations last year, but it’s not about quantity. This is a craft event all about slow design and meeting each other. The theme for this year is “Roots”, meaning both things with roots that grow in the ground but also heritage, our background and what is binding us together.

I do understand why people like Ilse Crawford and Li Edelkoort go here. It’s very different from everything else. Did I love it? Not sure. It is difficult with this setting where there is very little information. It is slow design and all, but I whish I could have been prepared a bit more. This is a really small event with 70 people, and I am expected to walk around here for three days. I absolutely see a need of things to slow down – but to what extent? How slow can you go?

When I read the reviews from the art biennale in Venice it seems like a lot of the critics have the same view. The theme there is “All of us strangers” but where is the guiding hand? What do I do with all these impressions? Where do I go?

But craft initiatives like these are super important. More so than ever. We are loosing a lof of our skills and there is an initiative to rescue these crafts. Enormously important. British Heritage Craft have since 2017 made lists of craft that is disappearing. More awareness on this please.

In conclusion. Craft is important. Slow design is important. Open mind to meeting new people is important. With this perspective Xtant is absolutely relevant and important. I just wish I hade a litte more information in my hands so I knew where to go or how to act.

I was talking to my friends who went last year. On a scale 1 to 10 – how will I grade this? Maybe seven. I am really glad to see slow design and craft like this.

 

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Gunnar
Gunnar
1 day ago

thanks a lot!