“Artists Teaching Artists: Case Studies of the Masterclass paradigm” presented by Ascott, Seaman and Vesna


Session Title:

  • Artists Teaching Artists

Presentation Title:

  • Artists Teaching Artists: Case Studies of the Masterclass paradigm



  • Panel Statement


    While there seems to be little space available in conventional education for anything more than a craft approach to digital arts, cyberspace offers an entirely new perspective on the what, why and where of art education.


    Art education is in crisis. It is not simply the impact of new technologies on art practice that has put the academy into a spin, but political, economic and commercial priorities have put the very idea of the creative arts at the bottom of the academic agenda. In place of art education we have multimedia training. In place of developmental curricula we have market modularity. Universities hire fewer and fewer artists and more and more administrators. Computers are academically ubiquitous but connectivity is universally constrained. Corporate accountancy has replaced personal accountability. An aesthetics, the dumbing of the culture, has replaced aesthetics, even as aesthetics has moved from the veneration of surface appearance to the generation of complex systems. What strategies might usefully be employed to return art education to artists? How can the skills and insights of one group of practitioners be shared, questioned or absorbed by another group? Can we talk about learning communities rather than academic classes? Is Web space the only place left to go? Do the new forms of artistic practice and collaborative creativity in cyberspace require new protocols and new criteria? Is education for ‘Art in the Net’ radically discontinuous from past pedagogies? If the site of art education is in the interspace between the real and the virtual what role does the intelligent agent play? We look at a number of strategies in which the panelists are variously involved: masterclasses in electronic art, doctoral research online, a cyberspace collegium, the local/global paradigm. Examples of work produced within these frameworks will be shown and discussed. We seek both to enliven the debate about art education on a broad front and to inform that debate with some useful specificity. Art education for, through and in cyberspace; digital dialogue; the intelligent interface; networked consciousness; in short, various approaches to teaching and learning, research and development, collaboration and co-production are amongst the issues which will be addressed.

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