I’m on my mother’s balcony in Athens working on the Asynchronous Discussion task, which is our final task before the summer break. It occurs to me I may already be on my summer break as I’m in Greece and it’s 38 degrees, but it doesn’t feel like it somehow, having to complete my Asynchronous Discussion being only one of the reasons. Another one is that the neighbours cats use my mother’s front garden as a toilet. I’ve just thrown a glass of water on one of them who has jumped onto a fence from where he is staring at me in bewilderment. I suppose I don’t really live here, so I don’t have to right to dictate his toilet habits.
Lindsay has put us into groups. We have to upload a resource along with questions for each other to discuss ‘asynchronously’. I am in Cohort A, Group A4, with Samiya and Dimitrios which is slightly unfortunate as I’d already watched a short video posted by Linett which I was going to write about… now it turns out I have more to read still. An asynchronous discussion is, I realise, a discussion where participants talk at different times, something that seems to be rather integral to this task.
Samiya has posted an article “Multicultural Art Education: Challenges, Pedagogy, and Teacher Preparation” and asked us to answer the following questions: “Should we expect educators within higher education to be culturally competent in the art classroom?” (which feels like it should be a ‘yes’) and “How could you include a multicultural perspective in the already existing curriculum you teach?” (to which I don’t really know the answer).
I click on the link and go to Academia.edu which reminds me I have a profile there. I have the options to download the text via Google (which slightly annoys me) and Facebook (which seems rather inappropriate). I also see an option to download via email so I click it but nothing happens. I spend a few minutes clicking on everything including Google and Facebook but nothing happens. Then a green download button appears from the top right of my screen which seems heaven-sent so I click it. I now notice there are little wheels going around but still nothing happens. I am convinced this is something to do with Safari so I decide to try Firefox. Unfortunately, Firefox doesn’t have all my passwords so I access those first then copy-paste them into the new browser window. The ‘download’ buttons still remain inactive but in Firefox I am now looking at a small photograph of Kimberly Johnson Rutledge which feels like something. I find out she has written two papers in total, neither of which I can access. This is probably what Lindsay was referring to when she told us the aims of this task is “for you to experience the delights (and limitations/frustrations) of discussion forums on institutional VLEs like Moodle.” I look up VLE on my Apple dictionary and find out it is a South African word for a shallow natural pool of water, but is spelt ‘vlei’ with an ‘i’ so I gather I’m looking at the wrong word. Lindsay’s VLE seem like initials. I am tempted to go with Visiting Lecturer Experience which is alsmost certainly wrong but at least has an academic context. I am now confident that I have experienced the frustrations and limitations of this task, so I leave Samiya’s text and reluctantly move onto Dimitrio’s which is 23 pages long and is entitled “An Approach to Teaching Digital Interactive Performance” by Rodica Mocan.
Dimitrios introduces the text by writing: “Mocan suggests an approach to teaching digital interactive performance (theory and practice) by developing an interdisciplinary heutagogical framework offering the learner a practical and collaborative approach that leads to innovation.” I consider looking up “heutagogical” but it sounds Greek so I feel justified to carry on. Then I decide I should look it up on Apple dictionary which finds no entries for it.
I glance down to his questions: “How can we create teaching sessions (lectures and workshops) that attract students from diverse disciplines and build interdisciplinary teams?”. I don’t know. “How can we attract students with experience or interest in different artistic and technical disciplines (music, performing arts, 3D design, media, communication and computer science) to collaborate on a final product (a performance on stage) ?” Again, I don’t know, but this second question sounds rather interesting as I like the idea of collaborations from different disciplines.
Now I’m looking at his first question and realise it’s related to the second, but I was rather thrown by his use of the word ‘interdisciplinary’.
All this thinking reminds me that I am somewhat annoyed that neither Samiya or Dimitrios have acknowledged my text and questions which I must say, were posted way earlier. For the text, I dug out a good one from the PgCert elective, ‘Be for Real’ by Stephen Wright (published on northwesteastwestsouth.net).
“… anything can change its ontological status at the snap of a performative finger, upheld by the presence of the frame, however broad. Yet that frame, like any frame, is also a limitation… a limitation, above all, to art’s transformative potential. When we say, unaware that the frame is in place, we didn’t “even” know something was art, the adverb is very telling: in order for something to be perceived as art, it must be framed as such; more importantly, the more distinctly framed, the more incisive it is considered to be. This is a highly dubious claim, however, for we can just as easily say, once we are aware of the frame’s invisible but powerful presence, that it is
“just” art. There too, the adverb is revealing: just art, not the potentially more transformatory, corrosive, even censorship-deserving real thing.”
Dimitrios has commented on my text: “I feel that framing is important as it also sets limitations that often help creativity.”