29 April 2009

Charles Krafft Disasterware


We have never had to do this before, but due to the message we received in our myspace inbox from Charles Krafft we were left with two options:

1. delete this post
2. share the message and our reply.

We decided to go with option 2:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Charles Krafft
To: blacknerdsnetwork.blogspot.com
Date: 30 Apr 2009, 22:11
Subject: You're kidding!

I'm approving Blacknerdnetwork as a friend because I've never met a black nerd. I'm trying to get with the diversity program here in Seattle, but it's kinda hard when the black kids on my bus won't give up that extra seat they're always sprawled across.

-----------------BLACK NERDS NETWORK REPLY---------


There is so much wrong with what you have written it is difficult to know where to start.

Your racially prejudice! My instincts tell me your not the sharpest razor in the pack so i'll break it down for you.

You judge people that you have never met by the colour of their skin!? At best this is STUPID, and at Worst it is RACIST.

Im sure you've met many Black Nerds, were just normal people that come in all ages, genders and professions... hey in fact some of us even drive buses.

We really liked your work and blogged about it. We then sent you a simple friends request on myspace. We were astonished by your reply.

However unlike you we will not judge the many by the few.


Bnn fam.


The original Disasterware, flirting with violence and beauty comes from the American artist Charles Krafft pioneer of the Pop Surrealism movement.

Of all the people acquiring guns in 1998 on the black market in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Charles Krafft was probably the only one who turned the illicit weapons into porcelain delftware.

Meeting with arms dealers in Ljubljana's cafes and bars, Krafft made arrangements to borrow Kalashnikovs and AK-47s ("the little black dress of the military industrial complex," he calls the assault rifles) so that he could use them to make plaster slip-molds. He then created meticulously accurate castings of the guns in white porcelain and painted the weapons with flowers, text and other decoration in the traditional delftware blue. The resulting collection of lethal but dainty satire became part of a body of work that provoked Mark Del Vecchio, author of "Postmodern Ceramics," to declare Krafft "one of the USA's most seditious artists [who] plays difficult, uneasy games with content and culture."

Charles Krafft talks about his work

Charles Krafft on Charles Krafft


{ Harlem Loves... } said...

Unbelievable. Good response guys

Quincey said...

wow lol...

two words, seriously crafted!

Zaike said...

Jesus, I was very excited about stumbling across this blog, but then I read your response to this well-intentioned (if misguided) guy's email.

What did he say that warranted all the condescension and rage? He is obviously trying to reach out to you guys, and even though he may have phrased this insensitively, or flippantly, your berating was waayy out of proportion.

Firstly, if you are going to proclaim "Your racially prejudice!", you should at least try to use proper grammar. That is just emberassing.

And more importantly, EVERYONE IS RACIALLY PREJUDICED. No one is outside of society's prejudiced influence, and the fact that Charlie is even ATTEMPTING to to reach out to you guys is a bigger step towards breaking down racism and prejudice than most people would be bothered to take. It is the sort of insecure, reactionary and INTOLERANT response that you gave him that scares white people off from even trying.

And you should not get so up in arms about his generalizing (yes, stereotyping) "black nerds" when it is a group/label/clique that you yourself have chosen to identify as. Yes, everyone is a special and unique snowflake who should not be judged on anything but their character, but your blog definitely promotes an image (young, fashionable, off-beat, whatever), and you should acknowledge that you are not repping "all ages, genders and professions".

So is it unreasonable of him to use the image that you promote, as he understands it, in defining whether or not he has "met a black nerd"? Is that so offensive? Are you really going to throw a fit because he is presumptuous? a little racist? are you guys not a little racist? And yes, his last sentence was basically "those people" statement, but stop being such f-ing babies, you're not the only ones ones allowed to have an edgy and biting sense of humor.

okay, i'm just getting more pissed the more I write this. In conclusion, I am black. I am a nerd. I am pissed off at your website, and I would really expect better. Your grammar and spelling are fucking atrocious; if you are going to take a high-ground, grammatical and then moral in that order. You did not "break" anything "down", you just incoherently raved about racism.

I hope you do not delete this comment before considering the point I am trying to make.

Anonymous said...

in response to Zaike

wow!! your one ANGRY "BLACK NERD" with a lot of time on their hands LMAO!!!
Try meditating and deep breaths. ;-)

Ps. sorry about our spelling and grammar. When taking exams we will try much harder..i mean better..errr i mean we'll.....well u know what we mean. LOL!!!

PPs in reference to your 3rd paragraph:

"Firstly, if you are going to proclaim "Your racially prejudice!", you should at least try to use proper grammar. That is just emberassing."

If your going to describe our grammar and spelling as "emberassing" please put the SPELL CHECK ON!! now that is EMBARRASSING!!!

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think the guy was being racist - he was just stating the fact that he'd never come across black nerds before and the black people he had encountered lived up to negative stereotypes...

You might have misconstrued the message a bit..

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous...let us put it this way..

WE ARE THE "black kids" on the bus who "won't give up that extra seat" we're "always sprawled across"!!!

We are also trying to get with the "diversity" program here in seattle but its kinda difficult when these middle class white guy artists get on the bus and forget that we have been in America since the 17th century, which in our mind is time enough to get with the "diversity program"..LOL!!

Since that incident of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger we thought we were safe to sprawl as "white kids" do. Obviously not!?!

One final point WHAT IS A BLACK NERD?

Zaike said...

well, that was a waste of my time.

mas said...

I think you over reacted on this. Charles Krafft is not a racist.

Margaret said...

Being a Puget Sound Observationalista, there's a lot of people in Washington who are always on the lookout to be "offended, enraged, cathartic, and sensitive" about some or another silly to quasi-serious issue. I think it's because it makes them feel intellectual superior to be offended, enraged, cathartic, and more sensitive. They have a burning need to pickup on even the most minor of circumstances and be offended,enraged, cathartic and more sensitive. They want to feel more relevant, THEY WANT TO BE OUTRAGED. Maybe it makes them feel alive, when what they really need is to get a life.If you are one of these types, you'll always be blowing your stack and seeing the most evil of motives in others. I call these people the violent (intellectually) quasi-nonviolent types. Think a bout it. If you want brotherhood, is it best to smile and talk sensibly or foam at the mouth at everything?

Anonymous said...

You know, why on Earth do you call yourself black nerds in the first place? Why not just nerds, you're bringing colour into it straight away, and for what reason? But this really is an amazing over reaction regarding Krafft's response, did you think you had some kind of exclusive 'hold the front page' moment (you obviously did), I am actually embarassed for you making out this is a story and really getting it twisted. Sad to see a nerd dragging it down like this, you should just edit the post and man it out. This is bs and is not fair to him or yourselves. Its a misunderstanding, simple as that.