Fergus1s’s Weblog
I hope this blog is somewhat educational.

allergies to art and technology?

I was going to write about the arts and technology in classrooms last week, but have been extremely busy. Nevertheless, the topic was discussed extensively yesterday in class, and I will add to the thoughts I was already going to discuss…

A lot of artists who have been schooled traditionally are afraid of what technology represents, and hesitate to address it in the classroom as well. However, we cannot deny that the majority of students in our classrooms are going to be technologically literate, and by the time they enter our rooms, they have been exposed to a myriad of messages, as well as subject matter, images, verbal dialogs and communication options that involve technology. Therefore, to not educate ourselves about it, is I feel, not beneficial to our students. We need to step outside our comfort zones. We must address the technological issue in society today, because our students need options.

If we see art of any kind as a by product of the body’s need to express itself, then we can see technology as an extension of that. Which brings up the question, why even bother divorcing ones self from the body to begin with? Many of these communicative devices and options that we have in the classroom are indeed, a buffer for human contact…and the arts are about humanity…so what is the answer here? I really don’t have one, but I treat technology as simply another medium for expression. Whether you draw with a pencil, or draw with a 3D animation program such as Maya (often used by the famous Pixar studios- wasn’t that short about the aliens great?) or whether you draw with your hand or with mathematical equations that the software is composed of, you are still expressing yourself. That is the most important thing we need to remember. It isn’t about what we prefer. And some of our students who have lovely ideas may not really be into drawing traditionally, and still have wonderful notions that need to be expressed…switching gears, and putting the philosophy away for a moment, sometimes working with video or photoshop can be really enjoyable.

I was schooled in the traditional arts throughout my BFA, and I drew until they introduced Intermedia to the department. It was in video that I found a new kind of voice, and found new ways to explore how to express that voice. It should be noted that a quiet artist run gallery on Scarth street called Neutral Ground often has wonderful alternative artwork on display that usually does feature technology, and that they often offer workshops on new kinds of software that can be incorporated into the artmaking environment. I plan on brushing up on my technological vocabulary by learning as much as I can about the new stuff. Sure its uncomfortable at first, but its also exciting to try new things…your students will thank you for it. Trust me.


3 Responses to “allergies to art and technology?”

  1. The thing that is great about using technology for art projects is some people (including myself) are not confident with their ability to create something the traditional way. But, they can create something which they never would have been able to create by hand. By using technology it is possible. Pictures, videos, and more can be created and turn out good enough that the artist can be proud of what they created, rather than be embarrassed. Students especially do compare their work to other students and if they feel proud of what they created they are less likely to worry about how their project looks compared to their piers.

  2. I would have to agree with you. While I personally feel that human contact is more important than technological interfaces, I still think it can be useful in moderation. Lots of people doubt the use of technology in the arts, but it’s just another medium, and we all work in mediums of our choice. I love oil paints, and my friend prefers acrylic, but we’re still both painters. It’s the same with technology.

  3. In all honesty, I have considered integrating technology into all subject matter-besides art. Although you can create pictures on the computer using various programs and sketch pads, I have never actually considered doing art projects or personal expression as an assignment for students in a classroom. Your blog has given me a fresh perspective of how I will be able to teach art, which for me is the hardest subject to teach. I have learned so much from all of you arts ed. students!

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