Round Table Statement
This discussion will focus on the efficacy of education as a possible bridge between art and today’s highly technological media. Artists throughout the ages have used, if not invented, the highest technology available to their culture. Creating art has traditionally involved relatively high technical skills. Along with a talent for creativity, spiritual sensitivity and a well-trained eye, a good command of the medium has routinely been a prerequisite. Even lately, when using simpler ready-made art supplies, developing adequate skills and an understanding of the tools requires time and dedication. Today’s newest tools are little different in that respect. Study is as helpful with the new media as it is in learning to play the piano. For the talented, time and practice will lead to the desirable skills Many artists may benefit from scholastic assistance in dealing with technical complexities, but even more to the point, proper education provides an understanding of the revolutionary nature of new, magical media! Computers now afford an opportunity for exponential expansion for the arts. Today’s multimedia is really ‘mixed media’ and these mixed media are recombining and mutating into new varieties of potential. Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (Al) are examples of major new features that are poised to enter our personal art. Such phenomena have changed our perceptions of space, time and forms of dynamic expression. Traditionally, art created with any medium, is delineated by its culturally proscribed standards and functons. Eventually these fluctuate with the shifting of cultural priorities. Rapid changes demand ever more involvement from education at all levels. The educational system must provide the perspectives required for understanding new directions as they develop and we better decide on the essence of what needs to be taught and who, today, is equipped to do so! It is the meaning and the enormous potential of the digital revolution that provide the important issues, which are affecting the future of our entire society! While both the pursuit of art and of education are infinite and will sustain our cultures throughout their existence, techniques change according to a law of progress. Yet technology is finite. We can always count the number of its parts. We shape the technology before the results shape us! Addendum/message: Many related issues rise to the surface in discussing this question of art, education and technology. There’ll be no time to cover all the ramifications during the 60 minute ’round-table’ discussion. Therefore I will place more on this subject on my web site. (That’ll be all the ideas and comments that had to be edited out from this version!) Look on the page called [round-table] in the [symposium] section. All participants in the ISEA96 Symposium are invited to read more about the issues related to this panel and to comment by way of an on-line dialogue.
- Josepha Haveman, Netherlands/USA, artist