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RE: Visual Culture art ed questions (Very Long I Think)


From: Esa Tipton (tmtartseducation_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 13:07:00 PDT

Henry makes several good points in his VLIT discourse.
However, from my POV, I don't see any contradition
between teaching ART and teaching Visual Culture. Sure
the articles that Henry provided links to fall under
the academic jurisdiction of people who live their
lives reading other people's writing and then writing
about it. Does it make their POV any less valid? Or
that it holds discourse that people dismiss by calling
it jargon? Because they are white or male does that
mean we dismiss the discussion because we don't like
the source? I'm sorry to disagree with this kind of
thinking. I have plenty of gripes against white, male
establishments, but using this argument doesn't hold
merit. Discuss the ideas, Henry, not the color or the

I will be teaching Art no matter what. How I teach Art
seems to be the central problem. What I teach is also
the central issue here. Am I teaching for myself or
for my students? Too many teachers are stuck in old
operating systems and old software in their brains.

Visual culture at least from my POV, gives us a new
opportunity to transcend the teacher-centered model of
DBAE and bring the dialetic into interaction with our
students. Interaction, that is the ultimate benefit of
Visual Culture, that it provides us with the means to
interact with the content of our student's lives and
to give them new tools for deciphering the very images
that inform their lives every day. Funny how this
seems to be reductionism or consumerism.

Finally, we know from brain research, and yes, Dawn I
will say more on the subject, that hypertext aligns
quite well with the cognitive functioning of the
brain. Hypertext is the visual culture that we are
talking about! We know that students need
self-discovery and creative links to whatever material
they are presented with in order to be motivated to
learn. Should it surprise us, then, that our students
find life outside of our classrooms more interesting
than when the teacher decides what the result of the
lesson will be? What will students remember about our
classrooms after they leave school? We began to teach
art criticism as a way to help our students be
informed consumers. That hasn't changed, only the
language we use and the complexity of what we are
dealing with.

Have our students changed from us? You bet. They see
things differently, do things differently, and their
children will be more so. We are the ones who have
failed to connect with the myriad forms of art in our
environment and our lives because of our own
definitions about what art is.

If we are going to use the example of the Balinese,
then we will support Visual Culture, because that is
the context of our everyday lives.

We are being challenged as a field and as individuals
to shift in the way we think, the way we teach, and
what we teach. Call it what you will, but this kind of
critique sounds to me like dinosaurs complaining about
the disappearance of their food source.

--- wrote:
> From my POV, part of the problem in either
> understanding or explaining either Visual Culture or
> VCAE (which are, by the way, related models but
> uniquely different things even so.) is that no
> theory of Visual Culture has yet escaped the
> perspectives of western culture.

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