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6 Critical Public Art Pedagogy

February 28, 2011


Based on Urban Omnibus’ “Modern life and deep geologic time are profoundly embedded within one another, with great consequence for both the present and the future” quote, I am thinking of having students bring in an everyday object from their homes that are manmade. i.e. a hammer, a shoe, a cheese grater, a calendar, a bicycle helmet. 

Urban Omnibus Possibilities:

– the students would research from what materials these objects were derived and through remix, the students would repurpose existing images of the raw materials needed to create the household object and decoupage them to the object itself making a sort of collage   …  Instead of decoupage or collage, they could also collect objects that are made of the same material and glue them to the object to show a kind of juxtaposition.  (sticks glued to the hammer handle, paperclips glued to the head of the hammer)

– leaving the old materials behind and using new materials to create a sort of paradox that defeats the purpose of the object (bicycle helmet made of broken glass, hammer made of a glass bottle and a balloon)

– the students should discover the intended/ideal audience/buyer for their object and then using double-coding recreate the object for that buyer and another unspecified artist-determined buyer using juxtaposition (hammer for a carpenter and a chef – made from a foot-long hot dog and an actual hammer head, OR a running shoe for an athlete and a honeybee – shoe in a giant bowl of honey) Possibilities:

– as a group, have the students take a popular story (fable, fairy tale, Disney story, etc.) enter it into, discover the turning point of the story with the new gender reversal, and depict the scene in some way using performance art

– still using the turning point of the story, have the students show subversion of the story by depicting the characters in their new regendered roles in an illustration to be shared/displayed with/for the rest of the class

OR they could do both

– as the students are performing or explaining their displayed work, the other students will look for patterns and take notes on what gender roles/stereotypes are present.  We will then discuss whether the new regendered roles make sense (why or why not?), if they seem absurd (why/why not?), and what the natural differences are between men and women and which are human-made.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rodney permalink
    March 23, 2011 8:30 pm

    My wife is a big fan of decoupage, so I was really excited to see your great idea about using this process as a way to create a household object through repurposing and remixing. I also liked the idea of regendering stories. I learned in a Children’s Lit. class that students can feel more empowered when they are allowed to take control of a story and present it in a new way as you mentioned here.

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