Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I went to look at one of  the pieces mentioned in the article, entitled"my boyfriend came back from the war" and I think it was amazing. I have never looked at internet art or had any desire to. My automatic reaction has been closed mindedness because my own skills are so feeble, but I have to say there's a world of possibilities out there for self expression if one can get past the initial self destruction phase inherent in the frustration of not understanding how to use the tools. the ability to layer images and messsages and the capacity for alternating patterns of meaning and interpretatioin is very interesting to me. The literal ability to dig deeper under the surface of an image is a very powerfull tool to work with. I think the social political power structure of the web, much of which is based on commerce, is a subject ripe for the picking so to speak. That is, commentary needs to be made and who better than artists to subvert the contents and meaning of the web we've all become so happily ensnared in. It is interesting to take another look at somthing we are so accustomed to using in particular ways and readjust our vision to see the hidden agenda,  alternate realities floating below the surface waiting to be exposed, examined, made meaning of. I certainly understand the students discomfort at being thrown out of their comfort zone without a  reference point, without a compass. One student said "I put in what I want and it gives me what I want." What a perfect image. The internet as a tool to get what we want (or what others want us to get) As a communication tool, we can reach so many. the world is at our fingertips and mouspad. But often communication is truncated. there's only so much depth you can get in a chat room and never the same imformation you'll get watching someone's body language or looking into someone's eyes. I think the points the author make about walking her class through the process of looking at internet art step by step critically discussing how each part makes them feel and what the artist's intention might have been is a great way to introduce students to the process of questioning and thinking analytically, symbolically and deeply. Eventually, hopefully, they will be able to do it for themselves.

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