CRITICAL GEOPOLITICS IN COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES

How to use art, design and visual communication tools to unpack geopolitical identities? From this question, Art and Design students from the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art, Palestine and Michigan State University, USA are creating new forms of exchange, challenging borders of language, politics, geography, technology and time-scale to use as points of departure.

http://theunknown.web.cal.msu.edu/


COURSE' EXHIBITIONS & CONFERENCES:

"Education in the Context of Occupation", Panel Discussion, "Education under Siege" conference, Michigan State University, Apr 12, 2019.

"Confrontations/مواجهات" Pop-Up Exhibit & Interventions, Michigan State University Museum, Apr 19, 2019

"Locating the 'Unknown'" Exhibition, The Arab American National Museum, Jun 21 - Aug 3, 2019.

"Critical Exchange and Peer-to-Peer Education: A Case Study in Collaborative Art Education," Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, to be held at Michigan State University, Oct 4 - 6, 2019.

‘THE WORK IS TOO DIDACTIC’: UNSPOKEN RULES AGAINST DIDACTICISM IN THE ARTS & HIGHER EDUCATION

How do we, as art educators, understand, process and engage our students who fall within an ever shifting spectrum of didactic or non-didactic art? How do we teach this awareness of didacticism's utility and aesthetic respectability? How can I teach my students or myself how to use this tool instead of fearing its taboo in art? 

There is an implicit bias against didacticism in the arts. Through this examination of the term didactic(ism) and its negative connotation in art, I unpack its meanings loosely related to the levels of information, accessibility, directness and clarity within a work. I then examine our assumptions about the value of an artwork determined by these implicit biases. This thesis analyzes contemporary phobias around didacticism as the unspoken elephant in the room to contest assumptions, rules and stigmas in art/making/education. In this qualitative study, I contextualize the historic construction of didacticism in literature, language, usage and its role in contemporary art. 

I question the negative implications of didacticism by recasting it as a fundamental aspect of art making, crucial for effective art education. Where does this attitude about didacticism in art come from? How did we get to our contemporary interpretation of didacticism in contemporary art practices? 

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