An Unbearable Load: Teaching New Technology in Art and Design


Session Title:

  • Faculty Burnout?

Presentation Title:

  • An Unbearable Load: Teaching New Technology in Art and Design



  • Panel Statement

    Since ISEA93 in Minneapolis a group of art educators have been participating in a private InterNet conference called F-Burnout. The conference addressed the problems associated with teaching new technology in art and design education. Due to other commitments during this period my contribution to this dialogue has been minimal. However I have “listened in” with interest and am pleased that a series of recommendations have been formulated to address these problems. Elsewhere I have aired my own concerns on a number of occasions. referenced below. In particular:
    * Subject specialists should accept responsibility for teaching new technology within their own area. Sculptors should teach sculpture, interior designers should teach interior design and so on. It is unreasonable to expect a small number of ‘art and technology specialists’ to accept responsibility for acquainting students from many areas with high-technology processes and tools. This implies that ALL teachers of art and design have to accept responsibility for teaching their students about technological developments within their field of specialization.
    * Specialists in new technology in the arts should be placed in positions where they can maximize their contribution to their academic community. Employing them to run basic introductory computer courses is a waste of their talents and of a valuable (and possibly essential) resource.
    * The acceptance of new paradigms of art & design and art & design production are a necessary prerequisite for the development of adequate opportunities for work in the area. If the establishment believe that new technology is about using user-friendly application packages to make ‘traditional’ art objects then opportunities for change are unlikely to exist.