"Purpose matters. In general, consumer and material culture is created for purposes of commerce and entertainment. Artworks are generally created for more substantive expressive purposes."
- Rymdreglage's 8 Bit Trip - 56%
- Thijme Termaat - 21%
- Jennifer Maestre - 14%
- Timothy Allen - 9%
- It's a good thing - 65% vs. it's a bad thing - 35%
- Yes - 69% vs. No - 31%
- Yes - 40% vs. No 60%
- They overwhelmingly selected the video that has a strong link to their culture through video games, though many of the video icons predated their generation. Visual culture, in this instance, carries a tremendous amount of weight when it comes to their aesthetics. Certainly, the sound tracks to these videos also contribute to their selections, but in this case the sound track reinforces the video game preferences. And, the fact that this video has been viewed over 11 million times is nothing to sneeze at! This is an astounding number of views. (I just googled "videos with the most views on youtube" - they number in the hundreds of millions. Interesting.)
- Since I made a random selection of videos (before I came up with the questionnaire), I was interested in knowing what they thought of choosing a favorite when I was offering apples to oranges. They had many comments about this, but essentially said it was good seeing a lot of different art; they were not as concerned that the comparisons be amongst similar art methods or styles.
- Fine art photography continues to struggle for fine art respect, which is interesting and personally disappointing to me. Their common comment was that painters and sculptors "made" their art, while photographers just took a picture. I am surprised that they can't see the tremendous amount of effort that took place looking at this particular body of work by Timothy Allen. At times I think their thinking is just skimming the surface, no matter how hard I try to foster deeper thought.
- Then here is another surprise! 60% think people don't take art made of toys less seriously than work made of bronze or stone. Wow! Here they thought it didn't matter about the medium, but about the effort that went into it, which I suppose correlates to their thinking that photography requires less effort than painting or sculpting.
Kevin Tavin and other art educators contend that artworks alone are not sufficient to develop students' understandings of contemporary culture. Tavin notes how 'numerous postmodern theories describe a new social order in which visual representations help mold and regulate social relationships, politics, race, gender, sexuality, and class'. Without the inclusion of visual representations beyond traditional fine art forms, art students would not be fully equipped to understand the contemporary world in terms of social relationships, politics, race, gender, sexuality, and class - all aspects of cultural understanding. Obviously, whether to draw on visual culture in choosing art content is a decision that will be made at the local level and will vary a great deal. Tavin notes that 'while art educators place art from the museum realm at the center of their curriculum, their students are piecing together their expectations and dreams in and through popular culture' He thus strongly supports the view that popular culture, as a major influence in the formation of values and beliefs, should be at the heart of students' experiences in art education.I agree with Tavin. I have experimented with including videos featuring art and artists from the canon, but my students are not nearly engaged or interested in the work. As I have played around with Artist of the Day, I have noticed they prefer art and artists that are on the frontier of contemporary art making, and some of those incorporate visual culture in a big way. They respond to imagery related to their culture, and why wouldn't they? The challenge for me, as a former AP Art History instructor, is how to blend the past with the present. I haven't resolved this dilemma just yet, but do think I can find some solutions. If you, anonymous reader, have some insight into this topic, I would be interested in your views.