Mode A to Z is a ceramic contribution to the second edition of Fanfare Inc.'s ongoing book series. This issue being dedicated to tools.
Anything can arguably be a tool, and one might very well say that the capability of applying ‘toolness’ to things remains the fundamental milestone in human evolution. The advancement of tools has contributed to the development of human culture and the rise of civilization. While basic tools appear in the archaeological record as far back as 2.6 million years ago, studies suggest that primitive tools have been in use for 3.4 million years. Tools change, but their essence is constant: something that extends forces, and improves results. Tools simplify our doing. Tools win time. Tools enable movement. In the theory of affordances, any function of an object is relative and dependent on its environment and context. In line with this thought, toolness can be applied to any object. A tool tells stories about its producer, as well as its user. The tools we develop, the tools we use, the tools we bring with us, all reflect our current surroundings. As such, tools are the result of thinking form, function, time, and outcome together. When labour becomes nomadic, tools adapt. When nomadic tools develop, labour follows. Tools follow function. Text and photos by Fanfare