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Free Content Becoming a work of art: Collaboration, materiality and posthumanism in visual arts education

Collaboration has become a core aspect of teaching, learning and research in university art departments, especially as contemporary artists have increasingly turned to collective and socially engaged studio practices. Despite this, hylomorphic approaches to arts education continue to position matter as a passive substance to be shaped by the artist(s) in service of linguistic discourse. In this article, we ask how a new materialist approach to collaboration might disrupt humanist ontologies of visual arts education in the university. We first draw on posthumanist writings to re-compose collaboration in ways that are responsive to the specificity of material entanglements as they are enacted within an ecology of studio practices. From there we work diagrammatically across a collaborative ‘data event’ of art in the making, drawing on a year-long participatory study with a cohort of third-year art students. In the final section, we develop propositions for collaboration as a transversal practice of ‘becoming a work of art’.

Keywords: collaboration; curriculum studies; higher education; new materialism; posthumanism; visual arts education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Manchester Metropolitan University, Education and Social Research Institute, UK 2: Southern Cross University, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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