In May of 2017, I traveled to Toronto to participate in Nouveau Reach, a conference on luxury. Originally, I had been thinking about the role of luxury aesthetics in craftivist work, often used as a "hook" and then subverted to encourage dialectical exchange. Using the work of Roberto Lugo, I looked to the ways in which luxurious aesthetics can be used as "decolonial gesture," as defined by Mignolo.
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Mary Callahan Baumstark is a maker, writer, and researcher with an M.A. in Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. She is interested in trendspotting in contemporary ceramics and organizing socially engaged or activist projects. She is the current Resident Art Historian for the Socially Engaged Craft Collective.