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Lesson Plans

Re: New Thread/New Form

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 08:13:14 -0700 (MST)

San D wrote
> Computers, to me, while a valuable tool, are just that, another tool.
> But will never replace the sensual magic that working with materials has
> to a human being.
> ...But I think trying to justify our existance based on our ability to
> incorporate computers is desperate.

And the brush never fully replaced the finger. Still, things change. It
will be a long while before Computers threaten all other tools with

As for justifying our existance via our willingness to incorporate....
computers or anything else is a moot point. It's been done. Is it evidence
of desperation? Probably. If the expanded use of any "tool" will help
insure the survival of art education in a given context or if it will
possibly enhance funding should one take that opportunity? We'll all
probably have to answer that one for ourselves. Perhaps not in reference
to computers, maybe in terms of math or science, other effective tools of
the artist.

> Deborah Gilbert wrote:
> This sounds uncomfortably like the arguments used against accepting
> photography as "valid" art.

Related, maybe. But San D's concern seems to be less with any
justification of the computer as a tool that it is with the quality of the
curriculum. Just throwing more computers into the mix isn't a solution.
But I think we all realize that. It raises interesting questions tho.

As individual artists we all have media or tools or what have you which
are special to us and at which we excel. We also have gaps in our
education and there are no doubt processes or practices in art of which we
know little or nothing. What do we choose to teach? Our specialty
exclusively? A bit of everything until time runs out? What proportion of
the available time do we alot to production and/or production in a
specific medium? What mediums do we examine in an art history segment? I
don't think there can be a single effective answer. (Though a literacy or
standards approach would, I expect, argue otherwise; and perhaps with some
validity. It's a choice of approach.)

San D wrote:
> My question, in their pursuit of the pure form of photography, and the
> zone system, do YOU think they would have embraced computers. I don't
> believe they would have, but that is only my opinion.

And would Vermeer or Giotto have embraced photography? Interesting
speculation. In time someone will ask, in the name of some electronic
media artist, would THEY embrace "Viral Sims" (an artificial analog for
some actual tool/media) technology as an arts media. And, probably most
computer artists would be uninterested in embracing the creation of
virally induced hallucinations. BUT some might and, no doubt, others newly
arriving in the art world, and seeking new territory to homestead, would
too. And they cycle begins again.

There have been violent arguments at the introduction of many new
technologies... Commercially produced paint (not hand ground by the
artist) Paint in tubes/painting "al fresco", Aniline Pigments, Acryilc
media, Plastic brush fibers, Synthetic canvas, Masonite, Novelty
additives, readymades, conceptual art, temporal art, the incorporation of
photographic process in painting... and on and on. I still read arguments
on the internet about the validity of the use of commercial paints.

As art educators, we're still stuck with the question of how to face the
new technology of computers in art. There are, perhaps, good reasons to
embrace them and, apparently, valid reasons not to join the rush.

Anyone up to proposing a list of pluses and minuses?