Otago Polytechnic


Symbol and instrument : Making ethics in the age of data.

Roderick Bamford


How do we validate ‘making ethics’ in a time of digital mediation? What are the truths of data? Rod Bamford’s talk responds to these questions through personal research narratives, framed by the idea of ‘ecologies of production’. These hybrid practice scenarios, in addition to expressing individual ideas, are concerned with a broader agency, addressing contemporary matters through a work’s symbolic and instrumental potential.

The examples illustrate particular challenges relevant to contemporary practice under 3 loose headings : craft and the ethics of authorship, interaction, and interference, and foreground a discussion of the potential of hermeneutical aesthetics to critique ethical value in practices that engage individuals and community through instrumental and symbolic considerations. Projects include the Digital Bamboo collaboration in Indonesia, Trans-dimensional Printing for Sonic Loop and the Norman Lindsay vase restoration, 3d clay printing for GL21 Japanese recycled ceramics, and UK research extending the capacity and potential of digitally Printed Ceramic Surface.


Rod Bamford is an artist and educator working at the intersections of art, craft and design, with a particular ceramics focus. Since studying at Sydney’s National Art School, his practice has developed through exhibitions, residencies, commercial design and academic projects. Rod's work is widely represented in major collections. He has held roles heading departments at the National Art School and as director of Cone Nine Design studios before joining UNSW Art & Design in 2016, where he began researching the impacts of emerging digital strategies for production and sustainability, developed the Post Graduate Future Making course stream, and taught courses across those interests. In 2017 Rod held a 12 month post heading the Ceramics and Glass Programme at the Royal College of Art in London, where he continued to teach and research digital making strategies and their effect on ‘artefactual’ dialogues, the psychosocial connections we have with material objects. He has most recently been working at the School of Art & Design at the Australian National University, Canberra, leading the Ceramics Workshop.

Published on 27 Feb 2020

Orderdate: 27 Feb 2020
Expiry: 6 Mar 2020