What might our network society learn from a multidisciplinary way of thinking about one’s engagement with art?
Many contemporary artists need to financially support their practices by teaching at colleges and universities, this has become a fact of life. The act of teaching for some, however, becomes an engaging process that perhaps (intentionally or unintentionally) informs the production/dissemination/reception process of their art practices. Those whom consistently make a career of juggling a creative practice and teaching can be referred to as “artist-educators” – a hyphenated term that can be understood from a couple of different perspectives: 1) the individual primarily identifies as an artist, followed by (and maybe merged with) the role of teacher; 2) their students take on the role of soon-to-be artists of the future, thus they are educators of artists.
Generally speaking, artists today work across and in-between multiple disciplines and rarely refer to themselves as situated within one particular expressive medium, hence the descriptive terms multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Contradictory to this sense of openness are the still narrow disciplinary structures of many art departments and institutions. Yet, within these medium-defined disciplines, perhaps the educational experience exceeds the disciplinary boundaries because of the artist-educators? What kinds of pedagogical limitations and challenges do these multidisciplinary artists experience? In what ways do their personal art practices impact how and what they teach? In what ways does their teaching impact what and how they make art about?
I am particularly interested in the practices of multidisciplinary and network artists that engage with critical aspects of digital technologies. How do these artist-educators approach the use of digital media in art curriculum and pedagogy?
Nathaniel Stern, USA
Jon Thomson, UK
Alison Craighead, UK
Mark Amerika, USA
Jessica Westbrook, USA
M. Simon Levin, CAN