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Becoming a Work of Art: Collaboration, Materiality and Posthumanism in Visual Arts Education

Rousell, David and Fell, F (2018) Becoming a Work of Art: Collaboration, Materiality and Posthumanism in Visual Arts Education. International Journal of Education through Art, 14 (1). pp. 91-110. ISSN 1743-5234

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Abstract

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 paper, we ask how a new materialist approach to collaboration might disrupt humanist ontologies of visual arts education in the university. We firstly 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’.

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