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[teacherartexchange] button clicks, black canvas, and square sculptures

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From: Jen Ellis (just.jen.ellis_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 15 2006 - 17:43:30 PDT


Pulled Quotes:
"With technology these days, what I see happening is that "everyone"
is an artist."

"What disturbs me is the little innovation in what the technology can
accomplish and where do we take it to? What is our responsibility to
make the new and emerging come into the frame of artistic thinking?
The software does allow everybody to click a button and " make"
something and sometimes those easy clicks even enthrall me. The chore
is to teach some decision making about those button clicks. As they
are clicking through those buttons we need to be very aware that
guidance and forward thinking with those buttons is the aim. I have
to teach less and less about the buttons, but I have to teach more and
more about decision making and problem solving."

I sense a heavy sigh of struggle waving over this crowd on technology.

When any new medium is becoming the "norm" in the art-world I think it
tends to be a little intimidating. We forget that originality of the
tool is what creates great art, not just using the tool. If you
thought of it first, and it was your unique form of expression, who
cares how easy it seems to the world? With other mediums, we can make
art just as easy, but maybe we forget.....

What if I:
Painted a canvas solid black?
Made a giant square sculpture for my yard?
Took a polaroid?
Splattered some paint?
Made a video diary?
Find some old pictures and made a collage?
Drew some simple lines and made an abstract?

Yes sounds simple. Wow, anyone could be an artist if I just had to do that.

We know that's not true. Art is not just about making a "pretty
picture". Those first people that created those things in the
questions above deserve credit on their originality. It's about being
that first one who saw something in that unique way. And get people to
stop and THINK.

Working in the area of technology, people know what works and what
doesn't. Those photo collages that everyone is doing won't sell for
long, now that everyone knows how to do it. Digital artists need to
create UNIQUE forms of expression using their tools. Or it wont get
shown in a gallery. Think about this when you are teaching....am I
just showing them how to do a project from start to finish? Or
instructing them on how to use the tool and create something on their
own?

Of course, Patty, you are right, the decision making is what is
important. What is behind that tool they are using, just like anything
else. The area of digital art is rapidly changing just as fast as any
other medium. Think of photography and how it changed how we look at
painting, and what we come to think of now as "fine art photography".
Anyone can take a picture, but not everyone is a photographer. Anyone
can learn photoshop, but that doesn't make everyone a digital artist.

I would love to know more about your struggles with integrating
digital classes into your classes, and what outcomes you have had
(both positive and negative).

Jen
Interactive Multimedia Artist
Continuing Medical Education
Cleveland, OH

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