Peggy responded to me with:
Thank you for this Beth. Thinking long and hard about the use of computers
in the art room has been difficult with the racing pace of technology all
around. I've encountered too much to absorb in some situations and too
little to work with in others.
I also appreciate your comments about critiquing. Since the issue
came up, I've felt a bit backed into the other corner, that is, that we
mustn't say something that might make someone feel uncomfortable. If I read
something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I won;t comment because so many
people seem to feel that this site should remain free of this kind of
criticism. I guess I can more or less relate to this as it is important for
people to feel safe to "speak." And things may get a little too intense as
in the last totem pole discussion which I had alot to do with but which
seemed to end in a strange way. The funny thing seems to me that I am so
concerned what people whom I've never met and will probably never meet,
think about me and what I have to say! I really hope we are having
similarly intense discussions with our colleagues and friends in realtime!
I agree that ArtsEdNet should be a place to feel "safe" to speak. And if
people become "afraid" or feel "silenced" then the purpose of critique--to
consider and re-consider--is mute. Perhaps we need to remember the rationale
for critiques. Just as we attempt (or should...) to practice art criticism in
such a way that is not about bashing the art, artist, or her/his/their ideas,
but to thoughtfully examine them, criticism on ArtsEdNet can and should model
this as well. As professionals we must continue to pose questions and/or
offer suggestions so that we DON'T get "stuck" in one mode of practice or
theory. The world changes constantly and art reflects this; therefore, as ART
EDUCATORS, so must our teaching theories and practices.
I, personally, have enjoyed reading the critical discussions. They remind me
to always question what I do, say, and promote as "important" or "appropriate"
information in educational environments. Even with the best of intentions,
ideas can be mis-communicated: better on ArtsEdNet than with eager-to-learn
Elizabeth B. Reese
The Pennsylvania State University