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November 3, 2010 Enhancing Students’ Critical Thinking through Technology-Based Art Discussion Borim Song, Ed.D., School of Art and Design, College of.

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Presentation on theme: "November 3, 2010 Enhancing Students’ Critical Thinking through Technology-Based Art Discussion Borim Song, Ed.D., School of Art and Design, College of."— Presentation transcript:

1 November 3, 2010 Enhancing Students’ Critical Thinking through Technology-Based Art Discussion Borim Song, Ed.D., School of Art and Design, College of Fine Arts and Communication, East Carolina University Instructional Examples and Students’ Feedback Students’ Learning Session Agenda This presentation examines an undergraduate online course on visual art education (ART : Art in the Elementary School), focusing on how to enhance students’ critical thinking skills through art discussion in the virtual classroom. Using BlackBoard’s tools, including Discussion Forum and Assignment, the students of this course explore a variety of concepts and methods about art education and create artworks. Song will share how she encouraged her students to go beyond typical ideas about visual art by introducing “net art” as a curricular tool that enhances students’ critical thinking, using the artworks by internationally-acclaimed YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES. Net Art by YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES: A Critical Thinking Tool As computer technology is an important medium in visual art, net art now is not merely a new art genre but is growing fast in the artworld. While students are familiar with computer use in their everyday lives and open to new digital art practices, art teachers sometimes feel reluctant to incorporate new artistic approaches into curriculum. In this presentation, Net art is introduced as a curricular tool for critical art learning that encourages students to think outside the box in response to the constantly changing world and particularly fast growing virtual worlds (Colman, 2004). Net art, which is also called Internet art or Web art, refers to artistic creations that are made and experienced based on the Web. This session particularly highlights the net artwork of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, an internationally acclaimed artist group. The artists mainly utilize Flash software and music-composing software as their artistic medium and tool and display all their works on their web site (http://www.yhchang.com). This net art group always uses upper-case letters for their group name as well as their artworks. Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge are two members of the artist group, but their real identities are almost hidden in their net art pieces. Instead, the artists often present their virtual spokespersons such as Victoria and Rola, who lead conversations and narratives in the net art pieces. Their virtual identities play a critical role for the creation and appreciation of their net art pieces, as demonstrated in my interview with them (Song, 2008). But what makes their artworks, a unique combination of texts, narratives, music, and limited visual images, even more interesting is a fact that they have been appreciated not only by Internet users but also by museum curators and gallery visitors in the physical artworld. Discussion Example 1 Topic Question: In Emphasis Art, the authors suggest two groups of visual art—art as art and art in context. And these two approaches interconnect; “one cannot stand without the other” (p. xx). In the last part of Chapter 2, the two approaches are referred to a formalist approach— “art’s job is to be beautiful”—and a contexualist approach—“art’s job is to make society better” (p. 19). Please visit a net art web site: which we explored very briefly in class. This is a web site of an artist group who create net art pieces: YOUNG- HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES. Net art refers to the Internet art or Web art, an art form created on line. And, in your writing, discuss whether their works are “art as art” or “art in context.” Once you put the URL, you will see a list of their artwork titles. You are to explore two net art pieces in the site: So, So, Soulful, and one more work that you would like to choose (you choose the other). What to write in the "Think/Rethink: Art Reflection" section of Discussion Board: 1. Think which group their net art pieces belong to and write about it. 2. Explain why you think so. Students’ Feedback: - I consider both of these pieces Art as Art. I think the artist simply want people to enjoy his artwork and not try to make it something it’s not. He likes to use bold colors to capture the attention of his audience and the flashing words force you to really pay close attention to the piece as it comes up on the screen. I also think the artist enjoys Net Art and simply wants the rest of the world to realize the beauty and uniqueness of it. - I feel as if a lot of what the net art did was contextual. They do a lot with words in their art...thus I feel it shows the context in a way that any other art would not. You get to see the thoughts and ideas based out of the artist. You can feel their intensity with what they are doing, and you can almost hear them speak about their art...even though you do not know what they sound like. Discussion Example 2 Topic Question: In your personal reflection, please discuss:1. What you personally felt from the net art pieces of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (as you know, there is no right answer for this kind of question. Please use your open, free mind). 2. If you have a chance, are you willing to incorporate some of their artworks (the only works with age-appropriate issues and narratives. Some of their artworks are not) into your interdisciplinary curriculum for your 6th graders in the future? If so, what could be a main topic and additional academic subject for your interdisciplinary lesson plan? If not, why not? Students’ Feedback: “I really enjoyed this site…the ones that were age appropriate I would present to my classroom. I think that your students should be introduced to all types of art work. Personally this was a new experience for me. I had never view this type of artwork before and had I view it anywhere else, I probably wouldn't consider it artwork. This type of artwork would definitely introduce the topic of self-expression and this is probably how I would use it in my classroom. This is the perfect example of freedom of speech even though I did feel as though some of the documents were very weird, I did enjoy reading them. I would love for my students to learn to write freely without being offensive to anyone and this is what is done in most of these artworks. They are for the most part very enjoyable.” Challenging Students for Meaningful Visual Art Learning Even though today’s students tend to be familiar with virtual world experiences and other technology-mediated culture, most of my college students (mostly sophomores and juniors) initially found this new art form to be unfamiliar, when they encounter the art of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES in my course ART The artists’ virtual art practice is suggested as a meaningful resource that teaches today’s students to reconsider how the virtual world interacts with the physical world, and how tradition and innovation influence and develop each other. Students also can go beyond their preconceptions about what visual art is like and what kind of role it plays in society by exploring these artists’ unique and interdisciplinary art practice. This session highlights writings that my students created about their responses to this net artist group’s work through virtual conversations using the discussion board of their Blackboard course web site. Approximately 200 students have participated in this virtual writing project since Students’ Initial Responses - “I’ve never heard of net art until you introduced it in class.” - “OK, all I have to say is WOW! I have never seen anything like this.” - “I can honestly say I have never seen art this way. It was very exciting.” Positive Perspectives - “I really like the idea of Net Art. It is such a good way to get your artwork out to people and to just show people your creativity. These videos were very artistic.” - “Wow… These examples of art were really something…They [the artists] are obviously very passionate about their work or they would not have completed so many lengthy net arts.” -“I like this art because it's something I myself can do. I'm very into written words, and so I liked their art a lot. I was able to understand how the artists were feeling either by how fast or how slow their words were blinking onto the screen. It was a great concept put into an art theme.” Critical Perspectives - “To be quite honest, I found myself very annoyed with this type of art. Not saying it isn't art, because these days many things can be considered art…This work was very unique, creative, and different.” - “I really enjoyed the colors in the background but I am not sure I would have the font that big and I would not have the words going that fast.” Motivating Collaborative Learning - Student 1: I can honestly say that “net art” is not exactly what I would consider “art.” I believe the Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries have a wonderful talent in storytelling, however, I really do not think flashing words across the screen is what I would call art. - A Reply by Student 2: I like how you stated that most people think that art has to be tangible. I can say that until this exposure to net art I thought that art had to be something physical too. I think learning about different ways to express yourself through art is really important. It can help us with our future classes and expand our abilities to think outside the box. Maybe we can even share with our classes about this type of art and open their minds too! YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, SO, SO SOULFUL, net art, 2006 YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES


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