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An inquiry into knowing, learning, and teaching art through new and social media Castro, Juan Carlos 2009

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A N I N Q U I RY I N TO KNOWING, LEARNING, AND TEACHING ART THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA  by  Juan Carlos Castro  B.F.A., Maryland Institute College of Art, 1999, Baltimore, USA M.A.T., Maryland Institute College of Art, 2000, Baltimore, USA A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Curriculum Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) November 2009 © Juan Carlos Castro, 2009  ABSTRACT This dissertation is offered at a time when new and social media are becoming a significant part of how teens and adults relate, know, and learn in North America. New and social media are forming networked social spaces which are overlapping and permeating places of schooling and which need to be woven into learning and teaching. However, the deployment of new networked digital technologies is not enough; new conceptions of curricula and pedagogies are needed to address shifts in knowing and learning through new and social media. Responding to this, art educators have been calling for the incorporation of contemporary art practices into curricula and pedagogies, and articulating learning in relational and complex ways. This exploratory design-based research study inquires into the intersection of these three strands: how knowing, learning, and teaching art are affected by new and social media; how an inquiry-based art curricula and pedagogy, as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art and complexity thinking, may be theorized and enacted; and how art learning takes place at the individual and collective scales as it is enacted in curriculum, pedagogy, and social network space. This study examines a designed and enacted curriculum and pedagogy in a social network space which involved participants from one secondary school visual arts department. Fifteen student participants, from grades 9 through 12, and 5 adults, including myself, inquired through art using new and social media. Questions arose during this inquiry, such as: Who and what is considered a knower and learner in a social network space? How does a dynamic system of collective ideas, resulting from artistic inquiry, shape and get shaped by the learning of individuals in a bounded collective? What and who teaches in such a collective? What roles do identity performance and construction play in participation and the learning of art online? All of these questions form an inquiry direction that seeks to interpret and represent possibilities for art education through new and social media.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.. ....................................................................................................................................ii TABLE OF CONTENTS..................................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES ..........................................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...............................................................................................................x DEDICATION ..................................................................................................................................xi PREFACE ......................................................................................................................................xii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM ...........................................................................................................1 RATIONALE .....................................................................................................................................3 BACKGROUND................................................................................................................................4 NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA .......................................................................................................4 PERCEPTIONS OF TEENS AND SCHOOLS ...........................................................................5 PARTICIPATORY CULTURE .....................................................................................................6 CONTEMPORARY ART, ART EDUCATION, AND INQUIRY ....................................................7 CONSIDERING INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE LEARNING .................................................8 ORGANIZATION OF DISSERTATION ...........................................................................................10 BEGINNINGS ................................................................................................................................12 CHAPTER 2: CONTEMPORARY NEW MEDIA ART CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGIES ...........13 CONTEMPORARY ART AND ART EDUCATION ..........................................................................13 ART CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGIES AS A SPACE OF INQUIRY .......................................15 NEW MEDIA AND ART EDUCATION ......................................................................................16 NEW MEDIA AND THE BODY ......................................................................................................16 KNOWING .....................................................................................................................................17 KNOWING IS EMBODIED ......................................................................................................18 KNOWING ENACTS A VIRTUAL ............................................................................................19 KNOWLEDGE AND MEDIA ....................................................................................................20 LEARNING THROUGH NEW MEDIA .....................................................................................21 NEW MEDIA ART ..........................................................................................................................22 JEFFERY SHAW .....................................................................................................................23 EDUARDO KAC ......................................................................................................................25 COLLECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN NEW MEDIA ART .............................................27 LEARNING TO LOVE YOU MORE .........................................................................................28 NEW MEDIA ART PEDAGOGY AND CURRICULUM ...................................................................30 A SPACE FOR COLLECTIVE INQUIRY .................................................................................31 SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................31 CHAPTER 3: COMPLEXITY THINKING .......................................................................................34 COMPLEXITY ................................................................................................................................35 SYSTEMS THAT LEARN.........................................................................................................35 TRANSPHENOMENA .............................................................................................................36 TRANSFORMATION AND EMERGENCE .....................................................................................38 EMERGENCE .........................................................................................................................39 CONSIDERING CHARACTERISTICS AND CONDITIONS OF EMERGENCE ............................40 INTERACTIONS ......................................................................................................................41 iii  INTERCONNECTIONS ...........................................................................................................42 HISTORY OF INTERACTIONS ...............................................................................................43 NETWORKS ..................................................................................................................................44 STRUCTURES OF NETWORK SCIENCE AND HISTORY ....................................................44 NETWORKS AND POWER .....................................................................................................45 NETWORK STRUCTURES ...........................................................................................................46 NODE ......................................................................................................................................46 LINKS ......................................................................................................................................47 HUBS ......................................................................................................................................47 DISTRIBUTED.........................................................................................................................47 CENTRALIZED........................................................................................................................48 DECENTRALIZED...................................................................................................................48 DYNAMIC NETWORK STRUCTURES .........................................................................................48 DYNAMICS OF A DECENTRALIZED NETWORK ..................................................................49 SPACE, PLACE, IDENTITY, AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS .............................................................50 SPACE, PLACE, AND TIME ....................................................................................................50 IDENTITY ................................................................................................................................51 NEW MEDIA AND IDENTITY ..................................................................................................53 LANDSCAPING A PLACE OF POSSIBILITY ................................................................................55 CONSTRAINTS: CAUSALITY IN A COMPLEX DYNAMIC SYSTEMS VIEW .........................55 TOPOLOGIES OF POSSIBILITY LANDSCAPES ...................................................................57 CONSTRAINTS THAT ENABLE IN ART CURRICULA ...........................................................58 ART TEACHER AS A CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE COLLECTIVE .........................................60 SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................62 CHAPTER 4: DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH ................................................................................63 WHY DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH? ...........................................................................................63 DEFINING DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH IN THIS STUDY .........................................................64 HISTORIES OF DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH ......................................................................65 ENACTMENTS OF DESIGN-BASED REARCH .....................................................................66 DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH IN ART EDUCATION ..............................................................67 EPISTEMOLOGICAL TENSIONS .................................................................................................68 RESPONDING TO THOSE TENSIONS ..................................................................................69 OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES ...................................................................................................71 INTERVENTIONIST ................................................................................................................72 THEORY DRIVEN ...................................................................................................................72 PRAGMATIC............................................................................................................................72 CONTEXTUAL ........................................................................................................................72 ITERATIVE ..............................................................................................................................73 COLLABORATIVE ...................................................................................................................73 INTEGRATIVE .........................................................................................................................73 CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY DESIGN AND ITERATIVE ANALYSIS ..............................74 SITES OF RESEARCH ..................................................................................................................76 SITES OF THE MATERIAL AND DIGITAL VIRTUAL ..............................................................77 VANCOUVER ..........................................................................................................................77 PINE SCHOOL DISTRICT ......................................................................................................78 OAK SECONDARY .................................................................................................................78 NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA AT OAK SECONDARY ................................................................79 SCHOOL POLICY ON THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ............................................................80 SOCIAL NETWORK SITE- NMSNAE......................................................................................80 iv  PARTICIPANT RECRUITMENT ....................................................................................................83 TEACHER PARTICIPANTS .....................................................................................................84 STUDENT PARTICIPANTS .....................................................................................................85 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS .......................................................................................................88 VISUAL METAPHORS, IDENTITY, AND CONFIDENTIALITY ................................................90 DATA COLLECTION ......................................................................................................................91 INTERVIEW DATA ..................................................................................................................91 INSTANT MESSAGE (IM) CHAT AND EMAIL .........................................................................92 IMAGE AND VIDEO DATA ......................................................................................................92 TEXTUAL DATA ......................................................................................................................93 OBSERVATION NOTES AND REFLECTIONS .......................................................................93 THINKING COMPLEXLY ABOUT DATA ANALYSIS ......................................................................93 DATA ORGANIZATION, PRESENTATION, AND CODING .....................................................96 CODING AND ANALYZING THE DATA ...................................................................................96 SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................98 CHAPTER 5: NMSNAE CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY .........................................................99 NMSNAE- PRE PLANNING .........................................................................................................100 RESPONDING TO MEDIA: EUPHORIA ...............................................................................101 EUPHORIA IN CANADA........................................................................................................102 PARTICIPANT RESPONSE TO EUPHORIA .........................................................................102 PRE-ACTIVITY ......................................................................................................................104 WEEK 1 ........................................................................................................................................104 WEEK 1 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................115 WEEK 2 ........................................................................................................................................115 WEEK 2 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................124 WEEK 3 ........................................................................................................................................124 WEEK 3 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................131 WEEK 4 ........................................................................................................................................132 WEEK 4 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................135 WEEK 5 ........................................................................................................................................137 WEEK 5 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................143 WEEK 6 INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................144 WEEK 6 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................161 WEEK 7 ........................................................................................................................................165 WEEK 7 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................174 WEEK 8 ........................................................................................................................................175 WEEK 8 ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................180 REVIEW .......................................................................................................................................181 SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................................184 CHAPTER: 6 LEARNING THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA ...........................................187 KNOWING AND LEARNING THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA ........................................187 LEARNING THROUGH ENCOUNTERING DIFFERENCE ...................................................190 SHIFTING THE SPATIAL ......................................................................................................192 LEARNING THROUGH DIALOG ...........................................................................................193 REHEARSAL .........................................................................................................................195 AFFECT AND LEARNING THROUGH NEW MEDIA ............................................................196 DYNAMICS OF ATTENTION AND LEARNING THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA ......197 TEACHING ART THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA .....................................................199 v  SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................................201 CHAPTER 7: IDENTITY AND PARTICIPATION THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA .........202 SPACE, PLACE, AND IDENTITY .................................................................................................202 PLACE AND IDENTITY IN ONLINE CONTEXTS .................................................................203 LEARNING, TEACHING, AND IDENTITY .............................................................................203 IDENTITY, PARTICIPATION, AND LEARNING .....................................................................204 CONSTRUCTING FLECKS OF IDENTITY ...........................................................................204 PSEUDONYMS AND PROFILE IMAGES .............................................................................204 LANGUAGE ...........................................................................................................................207 IMAGES .................................................................................................................................208 GENDER ...............................................................................................................................209 DISABLING PARTICIPATION ......................................................................................................211 RISK OF LINKING ONLINE AND OFFLINE IDENTITIES .....................................................211 CONSTRAINING PERSONAL STYLE AND INQUIRY ..........................................................212 JOHN FREEMAN ..................................................................................................................213 EVENING OUT THE PLAYING FIELD .........................................................................................216 RESHAPING SOCIAL RELATIONS ......................................................................................217 AUTHENTIC FEEDBACK ......................................................................................................219 RESHAPING EXPECTATIONS .............................................................................................220 SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................................221 CHAPTER 8: VISUALIZING THE COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM ...............................224 NEW METAPHORS FOR KNOWING AND LEARNING ART ONLINE ........................................224 METHOD ......................................................................................................................................227 INFOGRAPHICS ...................................................................................................................230 PROCESS .............................................................................................................................232 IDEA LINKS, VIEWS, AND RESPONSES ...................................................................................238 COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM ......................................................................................241 IDEA CATEGORIES ..............................................................................................................241 SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................................248 CHAPTER 9: CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................251 REFLECTION...............................................................................................................................252 CONSIDERATIONS OF CONSTRAINTS AND LIMITATIONS .....................................................254 IMPLICATIONS ............................................................................................................................255 KNOWING, LEARNING, AND TEACHING ART THROUGH NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA.....255 ARTICULATING CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGIES FOR NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA ........258 FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR INQUIRY .......................................................................................260 CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................................261 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................262 APPENDIXES ..............................................................................................................................273 APPENDIX A: SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS .273 APPENDIX B: GETTING STARTED HANDOUT & YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES .........................276 APPENDIX C: PROFILE IMAGES AND PSEUDONYMS OF PARTICIPANTS. ..........................278 APPENDIX D: CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL ............................................................................279  vi  LIST OF TABLES TABLE  8.1  Idea Categories...................................................…........................................ 242  vii  LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE  2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 4.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37  Jeffery Shaw, Installation image from Place: Ruhr.............................................. 24 Eduardo Kac, Ornitorrinco 1990.......................................................................... 26 Eduardo Kac, Teleporting an Unknown State 1994/2004.................................... 27 Screenshot of Learning to Love You More, 2007................................................ 28 Powers of 10........................................................................................................ 36 Nested transphenomena and transdisciplinary discourses................................. 37 New Media and Social Networking in Art Education (NMSNAE)......................... 82 A Fist Full of Dollars........................................................................................... 106 Sample from Haine Walker’s early posts........................................................... 107 World in a Seed..................................................................................................109 Dialogue About Opti’s World in a Seed.............................................................. 110 Milo Fishie’s Week 1 project.............................................................................. 112 Dialogue about Milo Fishie’s Week 1 project..................................................... 113 Rick O’Shay’s Week 1 response........................................................................ 114 Music Juxtaposition............................................................................................117 Response to Music Juxtaposition 1....................................................................118 Response to Music Juxtaposition 2....................................................................119 Gang.................................................................................................................. 120 Unsustainable Happiness.................................................................................. 121 Define Happiness...............................................................................................122 Unsustainable Relief.......................................................................................... 123 A Man A Plan......................................................................................................125 Responses to A Man A Plan...............................................................................126 Duty....................................................................................................................127 Mondays Are Red.............................................................................................. 128 The One Who Means The World To Me <3....................................................... 129 Pastor................................................................................................................. 130 <3....................................................................................................................... 133 Where I Get Lost................................................................................................ 134 Generations........................................................................................................136 Haine Walker’s Dandelions................................................................................ 137 Week 5 project: Mango Jello..............................................................................139 Recharging.........................................................................................................140 Music Reflects the Musician...............................................................................141 Week 5 project: Sophie Lee............................................................................... 142 Water..................................................................................................................148 Mango Jello’s response to Opti’s prompt........................................................... 149 stormy’s response to Opti’s prompt....................................................................150 Sophie’s Week 6 response to Opti’s prompt...................................................... 151 Take For Granted............................................................................................... 152 Fix Me Please, Will You?................................................................................... 153 Responses to stormy’s Week 6 prompt............................................................. 154 Response to Mango Jello’s Week 6 prompt.......................................................155 Abstraction Macro 2........................................................................................... 156  viii  FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE FIGURE  5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10  Littering.............................................................................................................. 157 Hidden Economy................................................................................................158 Sparkling Inspiration...........................................................................................159 Profile Switch..................................................................................................... 160 Decay................................................................................................................. 167 A Warm Glow..................................................................................................... 169 Youth In Motion.................................................................................................. 171 Art Supplies........................................................................................................171 Take A Walk Through Nature............................................................................. 172 Other Worlds...................................................................................................... 173 A Week In Colour............................................................................................... 176 Untitled series.................................................................................................... 177 Untitled...............................................................................................................178 Circles Of Life.....................................................................................................179 United States: Most Wanted Painting................................................................ 228 Death and Taxes................................................................................................ 231 Tag cloud of dissertation text..............................................................................232 Network map of idea links.................................................................................. 235 Image views per participant............................................................................... 236 Weeks 5 And 6................................................................................................... 237 Network map of Weeks 1 and 4 ideas............................................................... 243 Network map of ideas, Week 8.......................................................................... 244 Network map of total idea combinations............................................................ 245 Network map of total views each idea received................................................. 246  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In recognition and gratitude I wish to thank Aileen Pugliese Castro Drs. Kit Grauer, Brent Davis, Donal O Donoghue, teachers, mentors, and committee members Drs. Stephen Petrina, Graeme Chalmers, Rita Irwin, Anne Phelan, Carl Leggo, teachers and mentors Dr. Daniel Barney and Jill Baird, friends and collaborators Frances O’Connor, Gabriel Luis Castro, Dr. Anthony Pugliese, Mary Pugliese, family The students of Towson High School and The University of British Columbia And I am especially grateful for the students and teachers from Oak Secondary and all they have taught me  x  DEDICATION  Richard O’Connor (1945 - 2008)  xi  PREFACE On my way to the University of British Columbia in the summer of 2006, I was invited to join Facebook by my former students at Towson High, a secondary school at which I had previously taught. Facebook is described as a social media place and is more commonly known as a social networking service. It is primarily a space in which users create the content, as participants who produce the writing, images, and interactions through a web of relationships. My former students had started a Facebook group of people who had attended my art classes at the school. I was surprised at how former students—many of whom knew each other, and many of whom did not—so readily self-organized into a community of artists mentoring each other and sharing. The group has since expanded to include current high school students, as well as university students from around the world. As a high school art teacher, I attempted to enact a pedagogy that followed my students’ interests and ideas. This meant co-constructing a place for students, and me, to participate in, with, and through–a place to explore ideas. Initially, I did not intend to study new and social media; however, I was compelled to follow my students into this new space. It is in this spirit of following the participants of this study, tracing their relations and descriptions, that I attempt to articulate the shifts in knowing, learning, and teaching enabled through new and social media.  xii  CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION This dissertation is offered at a time when new and social media are becoming a significant part of how teens and adults relate, know, and learn in North America. It is also a time when contemporary new media artists are using new digital technologies to create spaces for learning and participation. There have been calls to incorporate the practices and processes of contemporary art into our curricula and pedagogical practices in art education (Wilson, 2003). Additionally, there is an emerging need to articulate learning in relational and complex ways. Complexity thinking offers an opportunity for new understandings of learning, at different scales of interdependent phenomena: from individuals to collectives. These strands come together in the forming of this dissertation through an exploration of complex knowing, learning, and teaching contemporary artistic inquiry through new and social media. The purpose of this dissertation is to re-present an exploratory design-based research inquiry into the intersection of these strands. The inquiry is manifested in an analysis and interpretation of learning enacted through an art curriculum and pedagogy that draws from contemporary new media art practice and complexity thinking. This study was situated in a social network space in a secondary school visual arts department. Drawing from the work of Gadamer’s (1994) Truth and Method, Davis and Sumara (2006) proposed that research texts can both represent and present. In this sense, representation calls something to mind, while presentation opens up new interpretive possibilities. Utilizing this definition, I intend to create a text that re-presents these strands in order to offer the field of art education insights and openings for new possibilities about knowing, learning, and teaching artistic inquiry through new and social media.  STATEMENT OF PROBLEM Duncum (1997), responding to Harvey (1989), called for art educators to respond to new times, “to acknowledge the importance of new media, and to devise curricula in partnership with students' use of it” (p. 74). As Duncum articulated, art education has a unique opportunity to incorporate students’ use of new and social media into art curricula and pedagogies. Additionally, many art education scholars have called for art curricula and pedagogies that embody the types of inquiry that contemporary artists enact (Adams, 2005; Gude, 2004, 2007; McKay, 2008; Sullivan, 1993; Walker, 2001, 2003; Wilson, 2003, 2008a, 2008b). To articulate knowing and learning through contemporary  1  art-inspired curricula and pedagogies and to enhance understandings of learning and inquiring through art in new and social media, I propose turning to dynamic metaphors of dynamic interdependent systems. In this context, dynamic refers to the continual motion that characterizes a system of relationships. These relationships are bound together in a coherent yet open system which effects the character and quality of all of them. In other words, participants’ actions both reflect and affect a system of relationships dynamically. Traces of these ideas have been represented in many of the ecological understandings of art education (Blandy, Congdon, Krug, 1998; Garoian, 1998; Gradle, 2007, 2008; Graham, 2007). Many of these authors have suggested attending to the place of ecology and a dynamic interrelationship to the environment. I draw instead from Bowers’s (1990) call for incorporating Gregory Bateson’s (1972) metaphor of mind as an ecology to understand the dynamic interrelationships of ideas and learning through artistic inquiry. Similar to metaphors of ecology are those from complexity thinking (Davis, 2004). Thinking about art curricula and pedagogy as a networked, dynamic, and complex system has emerged as a way to understand the learning of art through new and social media (Sweeny, 2004, 2008). I have employed an exploratory design-based research methodology to accomplish the goals of this research, which are (a) to better understand how knowing, learning, and teaching art are affected by new and social media; (b) to theorize and enact an inquirybased art curricula and pedagogy, as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art and complexity thinking; and (c) to articulate new understandings of learning art at the individual and collective scales as it is enacted in curriculum, pedagogy, and social network space. Design-based research is a way of designing, enacting, and researching educational innovations to effect local learning and to contribute to those theories of learning (Barab & Squire, 2004). In this dissertation I have used it to inquire into the intersection and implications of new and social media, contemporary new media art practice, and complexity thinking in art education. The following overarching question guides this research: What insights into knowing, learning, and teaching art can be offered from an inquiry-based art curricula and pedagogy, through new and social media, that draws from contemporary new media art and complexity thinking?  2  Additional elaborations of this question that emerged during my research are: Who and what is considered a “knower” and “learner” in a social network space? How does a dynamic system of collective ideas, resulting from artistic inquiry, shape and get shaped by the learning of individuals in a bounded collective? Who and what teaches in such a collective, and what roles do identity performance and construction play in participation and learning of art online? All of these questions form an inquiry direction that seeks to interpret and represent possibilities for art education.  RATIONALE At the end of the largest ethnographic study of teens and new media to date, Mizuko Ito (2008), asked: “What would it mean to really exploit the potential of the learning opportunities available through online resources and networks?” (p. 3). There is a need to theorize, design, and research the learning opportunities of new digital technologies in the art classroom, with a curriculum and pedagogy that both complements and expands their possibilities (Duncum, 1997). There have been articles on the possibilities for new and social media in art classrooms (Buffington, 2008; Liao, 2008; Roland, 2005, 2008), and a small, but growing, body of research (Colman, 2004; Erickson, 2005; Lai & Ball, 2004; Springgay, 2005; Sweeny, 2008; Taylor, 1999) that directly addresses how art learning is affected, understood, and extended through them. This study seeks not only to add to these discourses, but also to offer new perspectives and possibilities for theorizing and enacting new and social media in art education. This study also recognizes that merely deploying new technologies in art education is not enough. In a two-person arts-based autoethographic research project, Carpenter and Taylor (2003) used a process which involved hypertext to create links to content across the Web. They argued that learning through new media such as hypertext is not just about making Web sites and interacting online; it is also about “the manipulation and exploration of ideas” (p. 52). In this dissertation I propose that any use of new and social media into art classrooms must be coupled with curricula and pedagogies appropriate for the qualities embodied within such media. This research, then, is designed to address the concerns of how new and social media affects knowing, learning, and teaching; and what kinds of contemporary and complex curricula and pedagogies are possible through these spaces. This study and representation will offer the field of art education new ways of thinking complexly about art curriculum and pedagogy through new and social media. It also 3  responds to a broader need to explore not only how learning is affected through new and social media in art, but also what curricular and pedagogical innovations are made possible by the use of these media.  BACKGROUND This study’s data collection and curriculum were completed in the spring of 2008 in an online social networking site, in conjunction with a secondary school’s visual arts department that included 15 teens, four art teachers, and me. This dissertation is situated within a larger context of significant technological and cultural change around the use of new and social media. I will now describe some of the background in which this study is positioned, such as Web 2.0, teen use of new and social media, calls for contemporary art practice in art education, and complex ways of thinking about knowing and learning through art. This description will provide a sense of the historical moment that we are experiencing in relation to new and social media, and of why a dissertation like this is timely. NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA New media is simply defined as digitally based computing technologies that extend the knowing body qualitatively different than old media (for a more an in-depth theorization see chapter two). I use it here as an umbrella term which includes social media. Social media is defined here as a form of new media that is directed toward creating and maintaining social relationships across time and space. Social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace can be considered a form of social media. I prefer the term social media over Web 2.0 because it is more closely suggestive of what these media do, rather than of marketing connotations. Web 2.0 is a marketing phrase coined by Tim O’Reilly (2005) and denotes a shift in Internet computing by emphasizing the Web as a place for collaboration, sharing, and interaction rather than as a platform for presenting information. No longer is our experience on the World Wide Web just for buying books and shoes, reading the news, or looking up information. The Internet is now a place where users can create, distribute, and mashup content. This is supported through interfaces such as blogs, which are short for Web logs; wikis, online documents that can be edited by multiple users; and social networks, online spaces where users can create a profile, make contacts and links, and post and distribute content. It is a media ecology. Media ecologies are buttressing and interdependent media that support and integrate with each other dynamically, without 4  canceling each other out (McLuhan, 2005). Teens know and learn today through a media ecology supported by Internet-capable mobile phones, computers, social media (Facebook and Twitter), and so on. According to a recent survey (Ipsos, 2008), more than 88% of Canadians between the ages of 12 and 17 regularly use the Internet to socialize, either through instant messaging or through social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. In the United States, 9- to 17-year-olds spend just as much time online as they do watching television, and 96% of those online are using a social media interface (de Boor & Halpern, 2007). Of teens using the Internet, more than half are creating and distributing new media content (Lenhart & Madden, 2005). This has been described in the term coined by Alvin Toffler (1970, 1980): prosumers, or producer/consumers. This comes as Internet access and digital cameras are becoming more prevalent in North America (CEA, 2006; DPReview, 2004). Mobile computing, with hardware that combines imaging technologies with Internet access, has placed new and social media into the pockets of teens. With the rapid manufacturing, integration, and distribution of digital lens-based technologies, video and photography have become almost as widely used as writing. PERCEPTIONS OF TEENS AND SCHOOLS How have schools adapted in response to this shift in technological and cultural practice? A majority of teens report that there is a significant disconnect between new technology and school (Levin & Arafeh, 2002). With print and broadcast media drawing attention to stories of teens using new media for ‘sexting,’ the sending of provocative sexual texts and photographs to peers (Ivey, Tucker, & Stepp, 2009) and the posting of violent school fights to YouTube (Thanawala, 2009), it comes as no surprise that school policy-makers are moving to constrain the use of new and social media in schools. Coupled with the seeming underuse of technology in the classroom (Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001), schools and school policies have further driven a wedge between teens’ use of new and social media and learning in schools. Compounding this is a perception that teens are technologically savvier than teachers. In Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Prensky (2001) argued that the idea that teens born into the “digital age” after 1990 are inherently more technologically savvy than are “immigrants” to this time period is pervasive among teachers. Teachers are often excited by new technologies; however, Hardy (1998) suggested that most cite a lack of confidence, stemming from a perception that they do not know as much as teens, as 5  prohibitive to incorporating it in into their curricula. Yet in a recent survey (Ipsos, 2008), 28% of Canadian teens reported that they felt they were experts at new technology and the Internet, while 24% reported that they did not feel skilled at all. The survey findings pointed towards a misperception about the role of new and social media in the lives of teens. The term “digital native” is misleading in that there is a built-in assumption that because teens might participate in new and social media they are inherently technologically savvy. Teens are not participating with, in, and through new and social media for the sake of using and learning new technologies; rather, it has evolved unquestionably into their new and networked public (boyd, 2008). PARTICIPATORY CULTURE Participation through and with social media is an opening for teens to relate with each other in new contexts not limited to school, home, or in commercial spaces like malls. Participation with new and social media is also not limited only to building social relationships. Social network participation for teens is described as friendship- or interest-driven (Ito, et al., 2008). Therefore, it is mostly used for maintaining relationships established in off-line environments. There is also the growing use of social media to explore and develop new knowledge around specific interests. This can include belonging and participating in specialized groups which may include (but is not limited to) visual arts such as anime and comic art, video editing, photography, creative writing, fandom groups around reality television shows, and other activities. Engagement in such activities has been described as a belonging to a participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006). Jenkins described a participatory culture as one which involves restructuring of hierarchies and intergenerational interaction. It has also been described as having low barriers to artistic expression, civic engagement, and collaborative learning (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison, & Weigel, 2007). Participatory culture is where teens and adults interact online by sharing information, teaching and learning from each other around specific interests. Whether it is video editing or comic art, adults play a role in mentoring, teaching, and learning with teens. However, roles are not necessarily determined by age; rather, it is a fluid system of relationships based on need, available expertise, and who is a part of the community. These shifting and fluid boundaries in interest-driven social networks challenge traditional notions of who is teacher and who is learner. Here we see that new and social media are characterized by latent potentials for engagement and learning. This 6  dissertation will argue that phenomena such as interest-driven social networks and the shifting identify roles of teachers and learners are important features to consider in the interpretation of this study and in the field of art education. CONTEMPORARY ART, ART EDUCATION, AND INQUIRY The incorporation of contemporary art in the art curriculum has become a significant focus for innovation in art education. This study’s focus is not about engagement of students directly with artifacts of contemporary new media art practice; rather, its focus is on the intersections of new media art, curriculum, and pedagogy. Sara Wilson McKay (2008) stated, “postmodern contemporary art shares an important trait with coconstructivist pedagogy–the social process inherent in art and learning to be meaningful in our lives” (p. 71). She further described how artists’ engagement with the social relations to create interventions and spaces for participation points to possibilities for art pedagogies and curricula. Looking to contemporary artists, who dually engage in the social spaces we inhabit and the social issues we encounter, provides directions for artistic inquiry and learning that are far more relevant and meaningful than are artifacts from another era (Wilson, 2003). This study seeks to frame the art practices and inquiry in an art classroom as part of contemporary art contexts. The art curriculum has been conceptualized as a place for inquiry (Barney, 2009, Castro, 2004, 2007; Walker, 2001, 2003) to explore ideas of self in relation to personal, embodied interpretive frames in relation to others. Thought of in this way, what happens in an art learning environment is a part of the larger context of the contemporary art world (Hafeli, 2008). It is not unlike Adam’s (2005) description of Room 13, a primary school art group in Scotland. Room 13 is a place for inquiry through contemporary art practice. Identities are remade into artist-teacher and artist-learner to challenge “the imposition of tightly governed curricula and regulated pedagogies” (Adams, 2005, p. 23). This becomes, as Wilson (2008a, 2008b) theorized, a third-space pedagogy. He described a third-space pedagogical site as a “life-changing space where new forms of hybrid visual cultural artifacts, production, and meaning arise through informal contacts among kids and adults” (Wilson, 2008a, p. 120). In many ways, this new and social media space embodies Wilson’s theorization by providing a space for interaction across grades, with teachers who are practicing artists, to create new conceptualization for learning through art.  7  CONSIDERING INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE LEARNING Where does a self begin and end? We are symbiotic organisms more closely tied to our environment than we ever thought, according to Humphries (2009). The boundary of what makes us a physiological identity is fuzzier than ever. This is also true for human consciousness, as Merlin Donald (2001) stated: “although we may have the feeling that we do our cognitive work in isolation, we do our most important intellectual work as connected members of cultural networks” (p. 298). Knowing can no longer be considered an isolated act, separate from society and culture. Learning is not an isolated phenomenon (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978). Yet, this is nothing new in what we have come to understand about the social nature of art and art-making (Hagaman, 1990; Kindler & Darras, 1998; Wilson, 2004; Wolf, 1993). However, this dissertation extends this understanding by examining the dynamics of knowing, learning, and teaching through new and social media. This understanding also forms a bridge between contemporary art practice construed as pedagogy. Knowing identities are sensed to be singular, and yet can also be understood as part of a collective. The theoretical understandings of complex dynamic systems, with an underlying scale-free and decentralized network structure, begin to describe the dynamics between different levels of phenomena, from neurological to cultural to ecological. Perhaps under-theorized and mostly misunderstood in accounts of the social and cultural influences on learning are the dynamic characteristics of learning across scales. Rather than seeing learning as existing on one scale, complexity thinking frames learning as dynamic, where individuals and social relations, are co-specifying–in other words, each is shaping the other relationally. It is then a question of scale, of where our attention is drawn to and where we place and describe agency and power. Scale is an important concept to this dissertation. In this context, scale is meant to call to mind the position of an observer in relationship to a phenomenon. Scale is the relative extent of a system of relationships. For example, there is the scale of the individual in all his or her complexity. Then there is the scale of the classroom made up many individuals. Though we consider each bounded—a human body bounded by skin and a classroom bounded by walls and class roster—each system of relationships is porous, nested, and interdependent. In art education, the use of systems relations to understand learning has been incorporated in ways to describe these interrelationships. These system understandings of nonlinear learning in the visual arts have challenged traditional notions of 8  developmental endpoints (Kindler, 1999; Kindler & Darras, 1998; Wolf & Perry, 1988). What this type of research contributed was a challenge to traditional ideas of developmental stages; it suggested that pictorial representation was more fluid as children are able to access multiple pictorial systems based on context. Broadening these understandings is the insight that systems are shaped by the educational, social, and cultural contexts in which learners are situated (Wilson, 2004). This framework is reminiscent of systems views of creativity in art education (James, 1996, 1997). What complexity thinking provides is an expanded frame of systems relationships from which to consider thinking and acting across phenomena. In other words, it provides an understanding that addresses the nonlinear, inefficient, causal dynamics between individuals, collectives, societies, and ecosystems. Complexity thinking provides a metaphor for thinking of these systems as nested and scaleindependent. Nested means that you need a whole web of interdependent systems, whose dynamic relationships give rise to the character of a particular ecosystem. Scaleindependent means that there will always be a level of irreducible detail no matter what level of phenomena you look at. Simply, the dynamics used to describe a society cannot be collapsed or reduced to describe the actions of one particular individual. Complexity thinking offers a way to hold these understandings of dynamic phenomena in conversation. The major contributions to this study that complexity thinking provides is an epistemological stance, as it is enacted through design-based research, that articulates a language to describe enactments of contemporary new media art as curricula and pedagogy. Most significantly, it articulates a way to understand the dynamics of learning at multiple scales, from individuals to collectives. On this last point, complexity thinking contributes to art education a way of both occasioning learning at multiple scales and understanding the dynamics involved in these scales. It addresses the questions, What is a learner and what is a teacher? It attends to how, in a social network space, a dynamic collective of interdependent ideas shapes and is shaped by the learning of the participants. Complexity thinking offers a way to think of curriculum and pedagogy as a landscape of possibilities, one where the identity of teacher and learner is fluid and exists at different scales. Simply, can the network of ideas in a classroom teach and learn as do individual students? It expands the bookends of learning from merely occurring at the level of individual or social and cultural to ecological and neurological, while embracing the dynamics between the scales of phenomena. 9  ORGANIZATION OF DISSERTATION I have articulated a background of concerns and ideas around teen activity online, participatory cultures and learning, contemporary art pedagogy and curricula, and complexity thinking, in order to orient the inquiry of this dissertation. The following outlines and orients the reader to this dissertation. The next chapter is a theorization of art curricula and pedagogies that complement artistic inquiry through new and social media. I begin by reviewing relevant research in art education that addresses learning through new and social media. This situates this dissertation’s position on art curriculum and pedagogy through new and social media. From here I offer a close examination of the curricular and pedagogical possibilities that new media offer for knowing and learning through artistic inquiry. This begins with a theorization of what it means to know through new media. It frames how understandings of knowing and learning shift in contemporary new media art, and what this offers for thinking about art curriculum and pedagogy. Specifically, I conceptualize new media art as a curricular approach for artistic inquiry that extends knowing bodies. I begin with artist Jeffery Shaw and his installation work that extends the knowing body. Edwardo Kac and his work around telepresence are examined to explore ideas of agency across local contexts. I conclude this chapter with Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s participatory online work Learning To Love You More as a possibility for art curriculum and pedagogy through new and social media. The third chapter identifies themes of art curriculum and pedagogy as inspired by contemporary new media art, and elaborates them through complexity thinking. Complexity thinking stems from a tradition of complexity science and theory. It draws from the study of self-organizing learning (adaptive) systems, be it a swarm of bees, the human body, or an ecosystem, and enacts these understandings in practice (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Knowing and learning is framed through complexity understandings of emergence, dynamic interactions and interconnections, knowing and knowledge systems, decentralized networks, complex systems and identity, and constraints that enable. Constraints that enable are key to the conceptualization, design, and enactment of the art curriculum in this study. It is used as the theoretical frame to articulate the kind of artistic inquiry enacted in Learning To Love You More, the curriculum, and my pedagogy in this study. Through complexity thinking, a theorization of not only the art curriculum and pedagogy, but also the epistemology of this research’s methodology, add a frame to understand learning through new and social media. 10  Building off of the theorization of art curricula and pedagogy, the fourth chapter addresses the methodology used in this study. An exploratory design-based research (DBR) methodology is used. DBR is a practice-based, interventionist, theory-driven methodology. I articulate a rationale for the utilization of DBR in this research. The beginnings of DBR are explored as a way to frame its multiple epistemologies and the conflicts it raises within a complexity thinking framework. DBR as a methodology is still contested as it straddles a number of research paradigms. Specifically, I will identify the post-positivist and interpretivist positions in DBR. To address this tension and offer to the growing body of research that uses DBR, I articulate where this research study sits in the epistemological spectrum. Data collection methods are presented. I also consider and present ethical issues that arose and their impacts on this research. I describe my engagement with the research site and participants—specifically, who the participants were, where they came from, what art experiences they already had, and why I chose this research site. A theorization of the analytical methods stemming from the traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics is then presented and adapted to this enaction of DBR. In Chapter 5, I present a description of the art curriculum. Using a DBR approach of rich description and narrative—participant artworks, dialogues, and interviews—I describe and analyze the unfolding iterative cycles of the inquiry-based art curriculum, pedagogies, and participant activity. Of specific interest to this DBR study are the interpretations of how the art curriculum theorized in Chapters 2 and 3 were enacted, and what insights into learning can be articulated. The remaining chapters interpret the dynamics of learning and participation at the scales of individuals and collectives. Chapters 6 and 7 focus on the scale of individual learners while considering the dynamic interrelationships between the two scales. Chapter 6 specifically examines how participants described their experiences of learning through new and social media. Implications for learning art through new and social media will be explored. Drawing from previous theorization of identity and complex systems, Chapter 7 explores the role of identity in learning and participation through new and social media. Chapter 8 specifically examines learning at the collective level through info-graphic visualizations. Of interest to this study are the interpretations of the knowledge system that formed. This chapter addresses the idea of decentralized network dynamics and its implications for art education, both online and offline. In Chapter 9, I conclude by 11  considering how this research affected learning locally, and how it advances theory in learning for the field of art education.  BEGINNINGS As described in the Preface, the beginnings of this inquiry started with my former high school art students. It was their interests and ideas that shaped what happened in my art classroom. Yes, there were always prompts and questions in the beginning phases of study for my students. These asked them to attend to the world around them in new ways. However, as they explored their lives and collective experiences through artmaking and inquiry, it was their ideas and interests that led the way. It is in this spirit that I theorize and enact this study.  12  CHAPTER 2: CONTEMPORARY NEW MEDIA ART CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGIES The purpose of this chapter is to present a theorization of art curricula and pedagogies that complements artistic inquiry through new and social media. I want to return to the assertion of Carpenter and Taylor (2003) that it is not enough to deploy new media into an art classroom without considering the possibilities for inquiring through a new media art curriculum and pedagogy. What this means, in this dissertation, is theorizing art curricula and pedagogies that consider knowing and learning through new media, as well as the implications of this for teaching these technologies in art education. Space and place are also considered when addressing inquiry in art curriculum and pedagogy through new and social media. I use Wilson’s (2003, 2008a, 2008b) third-space pedagogy as the starting point for theorizing a transitional space for inquiry through art. This understanding of a space for inquiry has been more fully developed through particular works of contemporary art as a space for relational aesthetics that opens through encounters with new media art (Bourriaud, 1998; Hansen, 2004). I begin this chapter by articulating what is meant by inquiry in this dissertation. This leads to consideration of what spaces of inquiry, as art curriculum and pedagogy, could be. To do this, I provide a brief outline of new media work in art education in order to situate what this study has to offer for knowing, learning, and teaching art through new and social media. I then spend the second half of the chapter theorizing qualities of knowing and learning through new media. This provides a framework for developing understandings of knowing and learning through contemporary new media art and what this offers art curricula and pedagogies.  CONTEMPORARY ART AND ART EDUCATION Contemporary art needs to be considered to advance art education and meet the evolving needs of students, and what it means to inquire through art in current times (Adams, 2005; Gude, 2004, 2007; McKay, 2008; Sullivan, 1993; Walker, 2001, 2003; Wilson, 2003, 2008a, 2008b). Inquiry in art education can no longer be structured around elements and principles from an era of art dating from last century (Gude, 2004). The problem with deriving the criteria for art inquiry from static objects of art (Barkan, 1966; Dobbs, 2004) is, as Olivia Gude (2007) argued, because they are derived from an “outmoded paradigm” that will not be meaningful to our students. Deriving understandings for art inquiry though objects representative of a time and experience  13  from another era does not resonate with the experiences of teens today. The experiences that are prompted by encounters of certain works of contemporary art suggest a possible alternative. The aesthetics of participation and relation (Bourriaud, 1998; Hansen, 2004) in certain approaches to contemporary art offers a vision of what is possible for art education curricula and pedagogies. We engage with certain works of contemporary art differently from how we have engaged with art historically; therefore, our art pedagogy should also shift. Although production of art will always be a critical component of art education, the purposes for production need to shift. I argue that artistic production needs to be thought of as a space for inquiry. It is a space in which those who inquire through art attend to their relational position in the varied scales of phenomena of the world: material, social, cultural, and ecological. Inquiry in art education has been articulated in many ways. It has been described in prescriptive and systematic ways to produce original expressions and new forms of knowledge (Armstrong, 1986; Heid, 2008), or as critical inquiry into artworks (Lampert, 2006). Inquiry can be closely examining the processes artists engage with inquiry as sources for art curricula and pedagogy (Walker, 2001, 2003). Building somewhat on Walker’s theories, inquiry is understood in this dissertation as a process of actively attending to, and seeking out, our relational position as an inquirer. What this means is attending to our subjective relations with and through the more-than-human world (Abram, 1996), while also considering those of the collective, cultural, and ecological. Our subjective and inter-subjective relations shape the world around us, creating an inter-objective relation. Inter-objectivity is both inter-subjective and objective in that our descriptions shape and are part of the world (Davis, 2004). The root of the word inquiry comes from the Latin inquirere, meaning “seek”. The roots of the word seek can be traced to the Latin percipere, meaning to “seize, understand”. Inquiry is not a passive activity of looking in art, but an active process of engagement, construal, and action through movement, sensation, and affect. Engaging in and through the visual is a synesthetic process not limited to vision alone (Bal, 2003). In this dissertation it is treated as an active engagement with the relational, through movement, affect, and sensation, which crosses all scales of phenomena, from the material to the ecological. Inquiry, seeking as a process of knowing, is not just looking and finding–it also influences how the world is ordered (Maturana & Varela, 1992).  14  ART CURRICULA AND PEDAGOGIES AS A SPACE OF INQUIRY Further, art curricula and pedagogies are conceptualized here as spaces for inquiry (Barney, 2009; Castro, 2004, 2007), to explore and construe embodied interpretive possibilities in relation to collective ones. This is similar to Wilson’s (2003, 2008a, 2008b) description of a third-space pedagogy. Wilson (2008a) described a third pedagogical site as between the first pedagogical site (the site where kids, individually and collectively, make art and visual culture on their own with little or no assistance from adults) and the second site (our school, museum and other arts institution classrooms where we instruct students in how to make and interpret art and visual culture). (p. 119) Wilson related a story of an art teacher in the UK as an illustration for a third-space pedagogy. In this classroom account, the teacher created a place that was not what would be considered a “normal” art classroom. Wilson described his art classroom as divided into two sections. One section contained what could be normally expected in an art classroom: desks, chairs, and so on. The other section was constructed as a living room/museum filled with artifacts collected by the art teacher. Wilson’s analysis of accounts from students who experienced this classroom led to an understanding that it was the living room/museum space that was the most influential for the former students. Wilson (2008a) claimed that the power of this classroom was derived from the fact that instruction “took place at the margins of normal schooling” (p. 125). It functioned as a transitional space for students, between cultures and social class. I adapt Winnicott’s (2005) ideas of transitional phenomena and objects to transitional spaces, which both reference the familiar and evoke new experience. This new experience opens up new interpretive possibilities (Ellsworth, 2004). This can also be said to be a quality of learning (a point I will address further, below). One of the reasons this dissertation’s inquiry addresses the space and place of new and social media in schools is because such an inquiry has the potential to provide a space like that described by Wilson, Winnicott, and Ellsworth. Art curricula and pedagogies are broadly theorized here as a space for inquiry into the relational, between what has been experienced as known and what will be known. The relational is defined here as the way in which people, ideas, and contexts are connected. This understanding of space, which is presented in metaphoric terms as “landscape” in Chapter 3, is a participatory place, where teacher and student inquire into the relationally 15  rich phenomena of the more-than-human world. It is a transformational space for knowing and learning through art, and a concept that I also develop later in this chapter. I now move to theorize about what new media broadly does in terms of knowing and learning to better articulate engagements with contemporary new media art as inspiration for art curricula and pedagogies. NEW MEDIA AND ART EDUCATION New media and its role in contemporary art have taken on many definitions. On the surface, new media has come to be defined by new technologies, devices, and software applications. Conceptualized here, the role of new media in contemporary art has become an opportunity to remake and redefine relations between knowing bodies (Hansen, 2004). In art education, new media art production is a way of critically engaging with visual culture (Darts, 2007). Additionally, there are a number of emerging threads of Internetcentric new media research that are specific to art education. Among these are the following: engagement with new media has been conceptualized as appreciating and criticizing net.art (Colman, 2005); creating interactive social and ecological justice Web sites (Julian, 1996; Krug, 1997); hypertext, hyper-aesthetics, and critical pedagogy (Taylor, 2000, 2004; Taylor & Carpenter, 2002); student assessment (Dorn & Sabol, 2006); collaborative virtual museums (Keifer-Boyd, 1997); simulation and visual culture in networked society (Sweeny, 2004); cyborg and prosthetic resistance pedagogy (Garoian & Gaudelius, 2004); and gaming (Keifer-Boyd, 2005). I position this dissertation in new media art education research as an inquiry into curricula and pedagogies through new and social media. This dissertation extends and elaborates several key ideas from Springgay’s (2005) theorization of knowing bodies through the digital virtual. She stated that digital “environments thus shape an important aspect of embodiment and bodied encounters, creating proximinal encounters where knowledge between bodies is produced” (Springgay, 2005, p. 47). New and social media shift relations between knowing bodies in qualitatively different ways.  NEW MEDIA AND THE BODY The body—its movements, sensations, and affects—are significant here because it offers a frame of reference that is particularly applicable to knowing, learning, and teaching art through new media (Hansen, 2004; Massumi, 2002; Munster, 2006). In the 16  next sections I expand this idea of the body’s relation to new media, and what it means for theorizing knowing and learning in art. In Taylor’s (2009) review of SecondLife.com, there is an implicit, celebratory tone to “leaving” the body in order to engage in art (education) online. Using a word like “liberating” to describe the experience of Second Life suggests that engaging with Second Life is to be set free. Free from what? Free from being in a body? A desire to leave the body, by entering into a “hyper-mediated reality” (Baudrillard, 1995), comes from some place and from some time. Take the term cyberspace as an example. It was coined by author William Gibson (1984) in his novel, Neuromancer; Gibson presents an engagement with new media as explicitly cleaved from the body. Cyberspace’s antithesis, also coined in the same novel, is meatspace, and refers to the physical world. The word meatspace alludes to a messy, non-transcendent form of the body, something to be consumed or that will rot. Gibson tapped into a particular ideal of transcending the messiness of the body specific to the computer programming culture of the 1980s (Sofia, 2003). This has shaped both our understanding of cyberspace and our cultural understandings of the body in relation to new media. From popular “virtual reality” technologies, with special rooms, goggles, and suits; to online multi-player role-playing games and spaces like Second Life; all present a tacit promise of leaving a meatspace for a transcendent cyberspace. I now present an epistemology of knowing, and how knowing is understood in this dissertation. This is especially important as I loop back into theorizing about knowing and learning through new media and its implications for an art curricula and pedagogy, and about not wanting to leave the body, but to know through, among, and in relation to a collective body.  KNOWING Art education, in all its various forms, is not only the practice of coming to know about art, but also the study of the character of this knowledge and the ways in which we come to know it. Research and theory in art education involve investigations into the natures and origins of art knowledge. (Freedman, 2005, p. 99)  17  What follows is a theorization about the qualities and character of knowing through art, particularly art inquiry through new and social media. Knowing, as it is understood here, is an affective/effective action between prior actualities and possible actualities. Actualities are nouns and come from the Latin roots of actualitas, from actualis, meaning “active”, “practical”. This suggests that an actuality is never fixed or static. Rather, it is remade in action, between prior and possible. Words associated with the verb form of knowing are related to awareness. Be aware, be conscious, be informed, notice, see, sense, recognize: all of these suggest that knowing is a process that is a sensingperceiving recognition of being in and a part of a world. Our senses, perceptions, and understandings reference and are rooted in the body. Knowing is not a disembodied experience through new and social media; rather, it is qualitatively different. Any discussion of knowing, especially through new and social media, implicates the body. KNOWING IS EMBODIED Knowing is rooted in our interpretations and enactments of embodied, prior actualities. This means that to be able to know, a reference needs to be made from an embodied history of prior experiences. Our language, metaphors, and visual representations of knowing make reference to the body to make sense of our perceptions (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999). In the simple phrase “look at that over there,” we reference our body by demarcating the distance between here (the body) and over there (away from here, or the body). Knowing is a body that can have effective action (Maturana & Varela, 1992). Varela, Thompson, and Rosch (1991) stated that knowing is the “enactment or bringing forth of meaning from a background of understanding” (p. 149). They continued: “(1) perception consists in perceptually guided action and (2) cognitive structures emerge from the recurrent sensorimotor patterns that enable action to be perceptually guided” (p. 173). Spinoza’s (2006) 17th century ideas coupled with Bergson’s (2007) early 20th century ideas on the knowing body, can be seen as a precursors to the work of Maturana and Varela (1992), Hansen (2004), and Massumi (2002). Spinoza developed a concurrent and counter-understanding of the mind/body divide articulated by the 17th century writings of Rene Descartes (2007). Spinoza’s Ethics (2006) described the mind and body as linked to prior and possible actualities—qualitatively different, yet ontologically similar. Encounters with possible actualities prompt an affect or an impingement on the sensing body, which results in creating an idea of an affect. It is a flow that moves from prior actualities to possible actualities, hinging on the sensing and affective body. 18  Movement of the body creates a space where future and past meet, folding affective sensation back into the body (Bergson, 2007). For example, a drawing that uses perspective gives an illusion of a three-dimensional space. The illusion of three-dimensional space is achieved through a potentiality of a body moving through that representation of space. Without prior sensation of movement through a space, a viewer would not be able to understand perspective as a space (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). Take the popular online environment Second Life as another example of understanding knowing as embodied. Representations of bodies constructed in online environments reference embodied actualities to create possible actualities, commonly referred to as virtual. Understanding how to travel through a virtual space like Second Life references the sensation and affect of an actual body moving through an embodied material space. Returning to recognition and identification as the roots of the word knowing, where do our backgrounds of understanding or actualities reside? This is where popular metaphors of knowledge come from; ideas of knowledge being stored in filing cabinets, boxes, machines or computers suggest that knowledge is quantifiable, static, and objectlike, easily transferred, stored, and gathered. In fact, our backgrounds of understanding, and our prior actualities, are not “stored” in stasis; rather, they reside in our embodied enactments into possible actualities. KNOWING ENACTS A VIRTUAL Knowing, in relation to ourselves and through movement, is an act of construing a possible actuality, while referencing and shaping prior actualities through perceptually guided action. Massumi (2002) stated, “perceptions are possible actions” (p. 91), which means that perceptions are folded from prior actualities into a possibility. Perception is an action, a quality of conscious consideration of a space of possible action. Perception is not an exclusively interior or a subjective vision. We do not solely project a world onto a possible actuality; rather, possible actualities are co-specified through perception, prior actualities in a space of knowing (Varela, et. al., 1991). The folding of perception into a possible actual can also be understood as virtuality. We are constantly creating actualities that are both prior actualities and through movement, affect, sensation, and perception, virtualities. They fold and double back through an affective, sensing body, moving from actual to virtual to actual, recursively. 19  The virtual is a space of possible action. It is something that cannot be felt or understood as a prior actuality because it is the space in which actualities emerge. KNOWLEDGE AND MEDIA Through the technologies of writing and language, culture has been able to represent enacted knowledge. Giving form to knowing, onto, into, or through, a media form, expands conscious attention (Olson, 1994; Ong, 1982) of a knower to engage an expanded range of prior and possible actualities. It does not supplant embodied prior actualities; rather, it acts as a reference to the fine-grained qualities of prior actualities. Here, I address representation as the presence of a perceived possible actuality, both presenting and pointing towards prior and possible actualities (Gadamer, 2004). Bergson (2007) argued that representation “is there, but always virtual being neutralized, at the very moment when it might become actual, by the obligation to continue itself and to lose itself in something else” (p. 28). Our representations of prior actualities are never actualities in and of themselves; they only point towards possible actualities. This is not to say that images and text do not exist: in fact they are objects and forces in this world, forming a space of possible action from encounters with them (Mitchell, 2005). Bergson (2007) continued: the virtual image evolves towards the virtual sensation, and the virtual sensation towards real movement: this movement, in realizing itself, realizes both the sensation of which it might have been the natural continuation, and the image which has tried to embody itself in the sensation. (p. 169) Representations of knowing, prior and possible actualities, in media form get us closer to considering the question of what new media does that is different from “old” media. Tracing the roots of the singular medium to the Latin, literally meaning “middle” or “medius” to “media”, a 19th century shortening of the modern Latin tunica or membrana, means media functions as an in-between. This in-between plays a significant role between knowers. Knowledge is not fixed, as static, in a media form. And, it should be considered, knowledge is transformed by the medium through which it is represented (McLuhan & Fiore, 2001). Media is an in-between, where readers construe different interpretive frames from encounters with mediated knowledge (Barthes, 1977). These representations of knowing as knowledge points towards interpretive possibilities of the encounter with a possible actuality. It is this in-between space, where knowing is representation in a form to be remade in an encounter with a knower, where media operates. 20  “New” in new media is not often considered in its relationship to the word media. The Oxford English Dictionary (New) definition first states new as “not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time” (¶ 1). New is also defined as “already existing but seen, experienced, or acquired recently or now for the first time.” The third definition of new is “just beginning and regarded as better than what went before” (¶ 2). The first and third definitions describe popular conceptions of new media either as a new technology or as something that was better than before. Granted, these popular conceptions shape our cultural attitudes towards new media; however, when describing the new in new media, the emphasis here is on the second definition. It is a description of relation to a knowing body, in movement and through affect in knowing, that is different. The new, therefore, in new media is a qualitatively different set of relations, sensations, and affects of knowing. New media then, expands a space of possible action by placing the body more explicitly into a space of possible actualities (Hansen, 2004). What new media does in knowing is to expand the space of the possible, between the virtual and actual, by implicating the dynamic and affective body more, not less. It is a space of active and affective participation, where a knower can construe a virtuality more actively than he or she can in encounters with “old” media. The difference is not in kind, but in degree of affect and movement. LEARNING THROUGH NEW MEDIA Knowing is understood as embodied. Our metaphors, language, and perception are rooted in our embodied understandings and experiences (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999). Having a sensing, affective body that can have effective action in an environment is knowing (Maturana & Varela, 1992). With this understanding of knowing, we can say that learning is both behavioral and physical—which in biological terms is structural change (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Learning is the ability to adapt to new and diverse phenomena and environments in order to remain viable. Learners can only recognize what their perceptual and knowing structures are able to; this means that learners in their interactions with an environment would have to, in some way, embody the ability to interact with an environment. In other words, learning involves an interpretive framing of embodied experience. Interpretive frames guide our knowing action in the world. We could say that when our interpretive frames are reshaped, we have learned, and the knowing we enact qualitatively changes. It would be misleading to assume that the  21  learner changes in a static environment and that changes are only at play in the learner. Rather, the learner and their environment are co-specifying (Varela et al., 1991). Ellsworth (2004) put particular emphasis on the learning self, how it is a thing in the making, especially in encounters with media. The learning self, according to Ellsworth, is based on the universal that we all have particular bodies. She stated (2004): “Everything we ‘know,’ everything that is ‘tellable,’ emerges out of the time and place of this embodied movement/sensation—which is also a time and place of self-dissolution” (p. 167). Dissolution, in this context, means a moment when the binary of self/other are reshaped. What media, art, and architecture do, according to Ellsworth, is create a space of dissolution in which the “I” re-emerges, changed through the experience. The binary of self/other is reshaped; the contours of the interpretive framing of embodied prior actualities into possible actualities are reshaped. Encounters with art and images do not contain answers and Ellsworth stressed that art is neither education nor an artwork pedagogy, in and of itself. Rather, media, art, and architecture occasion an “interval for you to fall outside of what we already know” (Ellsworth, 2004, p. 162). Those intervals are indeterminate, shifting, and contingent to embodied experience and context. New media art attends to this interval, specifically positioning the body as the site of indetermination or self-dissolution and the subsequent re-framing that emerges. In this study, knowers’ embodied interpretive framing was extended and reshaped through encounters with each other’s interpretive framing as represented through each other’s images and texts. Encounters with images create associations that in many cases are as significant as those with the social (Latour, 2005; Mitchell, 2005). We can never fully know what it means to experience the world as someone else, either through their words or images, but we can come to know something altogether different, yet just as powerful, in terms of how our interpretive framing changes as a result with these encounters.  NEW MEDIA ART Rather than adhering to a strict modernist ideal of an artwork coming to represent the whole of an artist’s intent, contemporary art, and particularly new media art, is making apparent its incompleteness by enacting a space of virtuality through encounters with a knowing body. The new media work of art creates an incomplete space, one of participation and relation, through the creation of a possible actuality. In Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2008), he described the decay of the 22  aura of the artwork, as an autonomous bearer of truth or universal meaning, as a result of the nature of mechanical reproduction. This has been described as the post-medium condition (Hansen, 2004). In new media cultural studies, the post-medium condition is characterized as a convergence of digital information in which data need not be differentiated into concrete media classifications. It is where information, through images, text, and video, can flow through interfaces and devices, perhaps converging together into one experience. Manovich (2001) described the post-medium condition as aesthetic experience that is not necessarily limited by the constraints of human perception. It is a condition where code and interface somehow transcend the body; however, as I have argued, the post-medium that Manovich described does nothing less than implicate the participation of the body in the work of art. Hansen (2004) countered Manovich’s rationalization of the post-medium by stating that the body is always implicated in encounters with new media. New media art has been broadly characterized as having qualities such as: containing an interface, interactive, virtual, multi-modal, and immersive (Carter & Geczy, 2006). Both Ellsworth (2004) and Hansen (2004) theorized that what new media does is place the sensing and affective body into a more pronounced framing of a virtuality. The interpretive possibilities in the space of the virtual that guides possible action in reference from a prior actuality is a reshaping of interpretive frames from which to create a new space for knowing and learning. New media art and its incompleteness through interface, immersion, relation, and participation is a space for a more pronounced and active embodiment and actualization of a virtuality, which subsequently characterize its potentials as a knowing and learning space. In the following discussion, I will highlight four works by artists using new media to give an account of how they are engaging with the technological and cultural possibilities of new media and what that can offer to art education. I have chosen contemporary artworks to illustrate possible designs for knowing and learning spaces. JEFFERY SHAW Mark Hansen (2004) used the work of artist Jeffery Shaw (Figure 2.1) extensively to illustrate his theorization of new media art as creating a space that explicitly expands the perceptually guided action of viewer/participant. In the artwork Place: Ruhr, Shaw created an interface where the viewer/participant is placed in the center of a circular projection screen. The platform stood on by the viewer rotates and allows the viewer to control his or her point of view. Also on the platform are three projectors that show areas 23  Image removed due to copyright. Please visit http://www.jeffrey-shaw.net/  Figure 2.1. Jeffery Shaw, Installation image from Place: Ruhr, (Shaw, 2008).  of a defunct industrial site in Germany. The participant has control of his or her own movement, rotating the projection around to reveal new scenes. The participant who selects scenes to display within the cylinder also controls the projections of these scenes. Additionally, a microphone on top of the control interface picks up any sound the viewer makes causing a projection of words, which correspond to the sounds made, onto the screen. The knowing body is extended through movement, affect, and sensation. Hansen (2004) stated that Shaw’s work illustrated that the virtual is a quality of human (and, more generally, organic) life and can only erroneously be equated with technology. Far from being a synonym of the digital, the virtual must be understood as that capacity, so fundamental to human existence, to be in excess of one’s actual state (p. 50-51). Excess of one’s state is a space of possibility. New media art is not just the deployment of new technologies; rather, it calls into question the ontological relationship of viewer and image to become participant and space. Attention to embodied experience is a feature of new media art that is important to this curriculum and pedagogy. New media 24  art occasions an interval or space in which the body’s range of indetermination or selfdissolution shifts, moves, and reconstitutes into something qualitatively different. It is a reshaping of the contours of an enacted interpretive frame. The deliberate participatory and interactive quality of new media art, in which the body’s movement and action is registered and responded to by the work of art is what distinguishes it from more traditional media artworks. I turn now to exploring the expanding role of the body in new media art by describing artists who occasion and extend a knowing body in coordination with other knowing bodies. This points to possibilities for art curricula and pedagogy through new and social media. EDUARDO KAC Artist Eduardo Kac’s work explores the body’s relation to space via works that engage through an experience of telepresence. Telepresence, by its technical definition, is the ability, through communications technology, to remotely control a device or object. It also carries a meaning of a sensation of being elsewhere, to have an affective response to a space that is not immediately local. Ornitorrinco, which is Brazilian Portuguese for platypus, is a robotic device that Kac constructed with Edward Bennett (Figure 2.2). Through the artwork, a viewer/participant extends perceptions from a local space, through an interface that displays video stills, into another space, often a gallery in another city. The video stills are from a camera mounted on the robot and are sent at regular intervals. Ornitorrinco’s movements in the distant gallery are controlled through a touch-tone telephone keypad. Each numerical value represents a direction that the robot can move throughout the gallery space. The viewer/participant, through limited senses, is extended into a more expanded space of action or knowing. Kac (2007a), reflecting on the social implications of telepresence, stated: it reflects the cultural conditions of late-twentieth century society in respect to its attempt of eliminating the consequences of geographic distance in human affairs. Ours is a society that can save lives or massacre other societies from afar. (¶ 3) Extending a sensing, affective body through telecommunications marks a shift in media interfaces. The body and its movements play a more pronounced role in the experience of the art work. Now, the body’s range of possibilities is extended through new media, across space, place, and time. Through works like Kac’s Teleporting an Unknown State (Figure 2.3), a viewer/participant has an extended type of agency across spaces and places outside of local embodied action. In Teleporting, Kac uses the Internet to enable 25  Image removed due to copyright. Please visit http://www.ekac.org/  Figure 2.2. Eduardo Kac, Ornitorrinco 1990, (Kac, 2007b)  telepresence through the act of viewing and navigating (clicking and scrolling) online. In this work, Kac set up a pedestal with potting soil and a seed in a darkened gallery space. In the latest iteration of this project the pedestal was set up in a gallery in Slovenia. On the Web interface, surrounding the image of the plant, were live Web camera feeds from cities all over the world. Internet-based viewer/participants could click on a Web camera feed where it was daylight (hopefully for the sake of the seed) and that Web camera’s feed image would be projected onto the plant. The projector bulb acted as a grow lamp for the plant. The act of viewing supported the growth of the seedling, as did the choice of which Web camera feed to use in the projection on the plant. What Kac does in this work is make explicit that viewing is an act of participation. Clicking, navigating, and scrolling on and through the Internet is an affective movement, one where seemingly innocuous bodily movements and framing creates a possible actuality and virtuality both individually and collectively, locally and non-locally. Kac also conceptualizes a new possibility for collective action in online environments to create  26  new senses of action, agency, and knowing. This work also points towards a possible alternative to the perceived self-interested activities of interaction online.  Image removed due to copyright. Please visit http://www.ekac.org/  Figure 2.3. Eduardo Kac, Teleporting an Unknown State 1994/2004. (Kac, 2007b)  COLLECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN NEW MEDIA ART The role of the artist in interactive art is not to encode messages unidirectionally but to define the parameters of the open-ended context in which experiences will unfold. (Kac, 2007c, ¶ 97.) Contemporary new media artists are employing new media as a way of building social interruption, relations, and spaces of participation. In the past 100 years, early efforts in participation-based art, from the Dadaist spontaneous parades/performances in the  27  1920s to “happenings” in the 1960s, sought to coordinate social interaction as the “medium” used in the work of art (Bishop, 2006). Social spaces of interaction are a “medium” in which artists imagine new possibilities outside of “normal” social interactions. Here Bourriard (2006) articulated that art “is a site that produces a specific sociability” (p. 161). Drawing from Bourriard (1998), it can be argued that the kinds of art that are relational, especially new media art, function as an “interstice,” or an intervening or transitional space. It is a space for a resetting and reshaping of social relations outside of the norms entrenched in the recursive patterns of culture. LEARNING TO LOVE YOU MORE In 2002, artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher created a participatory Web site entitled Learning to Love You More; its content was to be generated by users (Figure 2.4).  Image removed due to copyright. Please visit http:// www.learningtoloveyoumore.com/  Figure 2.4. Screenshot of Learning to LoveYou More, 2007. (July & Fletcher, 2002)  28  The artists used new media or, more specifically, social media, to enable new collective experiences of knowing. Attentive to embodied experience, July and Fletcher designed “assignments” that ask participants to engage with their personal spaces and experiences in new ways. The series of assignments are a form of inquiry-based art curriculum and pedagogy. The structure of this art curriculum is a series of (now 70) ongoing prompts, questions, and tasks that range from “Assignment #30: Take a picture of strangers holding hands” to “Assignment #25: Make a video of someone dancing”. Anyone with access to the Internet can participate. Participants can choose any assignment, respond to them through the media requested (usually reported through text, digital photography, audio, or video), and submit their responses for consideration to be included on the Web site. The nature of the questions prompt participants to examine an aspect of their own life experiences and knowledge. It is a constraint that enables a reconsideration of prior actualities to create new virtualities. In some of the assignments the artists would reference the responses from participants in a previous post. For example, “Assignment #19: Illustrate a scene or make an object from Paul Arensmeyer’s life story,” was designed in response to Paul’s story from “Assignment #14: Write your life story in less than a day.” The assignments are “intended to guide people towards their own experience” (July & Fletcher, 2005). Further, the artists described this activity as Democratic art as freedom from the burden, impossibility and supremacy of 'original' thought, market definitions of genius, value and salability. It is democracy as collaboration and shared expression. The political authority in this work is found in the collective, the average-ness and the everyday (though by no means mundane). This experiment and the works that have resulted decentralize the individual ego and attempt to diminish the collective anxiety and guilt that many Americans seem to feel during this difficult period in our global history. (¶ 4) Learning to Love You More is not a democracy by every definition, due to the editing and selection powers of the artists. Not everyone who submits their responses will have them posted on the site. July and Fletcher set those parameters or constraints in which openended experiences do not just unfold; they fold into and elaborate each other collectively and dynamically. They take an emerging cultural practice, that of sharing photos and life experiences through a new and social media interface, and transform what is possible in social relations of collective knowing by prompting new kinds of attention towards the everyday. This conception of art offers visions-of-possibility spaces that exist outside of  29  the realm of entrenched cultural norms of new media, by attending to the embodied experience of participation and the extended agency inherent in the potentials of these new communicative technologies. What Shaw, Kac, July, and Fletcher do is offer possibilities for shaping social spaces through new media to create new relations of knowing and learning. From interactive artworks like Shaw’s, to Learning To Love You More, the medium of an artwork is more than a technology deployed; it includes the resetting and reshaping of relations between knowers in a system of relations.  NEW MEDIA ART PEDAGOGY AND CURRICULUM What is suggested here is not a Discipline Based (DBAE) enactment of art education, where the art educator should try to have each individual student make a work like Edwardo Kac. Rather, what can be learned here for art education is an attention towards how new media art resets and reshapes social relations to create new systems for knowing and learning. Garoian’s (2008) use of prosthesis as a disjunctive and extension of embodied knowing through art enables an understanding for art pedagogy that resets and reshapes relations. As a disjunctive, it disrupts common associations and entrenched patterns of action. In Learning To Love You More, the “assignments” act as a kind of disjunctive extension to the body. This paradoxical statement is about reshaping one’s relations to pre-existing interpretive frames through collective inquiry on the artists’ Web site. The roots of the word prosthesis come from the Greek prostithenai, meaning “in addition to place”. The place enacted by Learning to Love You More is one that reshapes the relational social norms and expectations of what knowing and knowledge should be, extending the body into a new social, knowing body. As enacted in this study, a new media art curriculum and pedagogy is a resetting and reshaping of relations and interpretive possibilities through inquiry with and through new and social media. The curriculum in this study was a space to inquire into relations with ideas and the world through art. It is then a space for inquiry, through art, which is performed, created, and enacted collectively. The use of digital technologies, such as digital photography, video, audio, Web design, and so on, is very much a part of incorporating new media into the art classroom. The mere use of digital technologies is  30  not enough. The kinds and qualities of engagement, in and through an art curriculum and pedagogy of inquiry, must also be considered. A SPACE FOR COLLECTIVE INQUIRY With lots of kids in the US and in other countries, I've asked, "Would you like to draw with me in my journal?" When we draw together, the result is a kind of hybrid visual culture that is other-than-child/other-than-adult visual culture. These sessions are what I call third-site pedagogy. They are not like school pedagogical settings, nor are they like the settings in which kids make their own visual culture. They are third-site pedagogical and research settings. When kids and adults relinquish their usual roles, their usual status as kid or adult, when they share sources and their tastes in art and contemporary visual culture, together they have the opportunity of becoming co-equal jointproducers ... (Wilson, 2008b, p. 9) The qualities and kinds of participatory inquiry, knowing, and learning made possible by new and social media (Ito et al., 2008; Jenkins et al., 2007) in online interest-driven social networks suggest that, culturally, there is precedent for an art curricula and pedagogies as described by Wilson (2008b): a space and place where adults and teens can collaborate and inquire collectively. Having an awareness and collective space for inquiry is a kind of social proprioperception (Thompson, 2007). Proprioperception is the medical term which describes the awareness of where one’s body or limbs is at any given moment. It is a self-awareness of the body, its condition, feeling, and position. The extension of this awareness and collective inquiry is reflected in an idea that social media and online networks form larger, overlapping, and intersecting bodies of knowing and learning. The possibilities for knowing, learning, and teaching art in new and social media, and the insights from the contemporary new media artists explored here, offer a way of thinking about new media and art education.  SUMMARY The curricular and pedagogical possibilities re-presented in this chapter are broad, yet suggest an approach to thinking about new and social media in art education. Specifically, the qualities of certain contemporary new media artworks and their use of relational spaces to extend the knowing body were explored to conceptualize curricular and pedagogical possibilities. What new media artists do through a relational aesthetic is create a place that reorders and reshapes the ways in which a knowing and learning body connects to others and the more-than-human world. Like Wilson’s third-space 31  pedagogy, that place is between schooling and not schooling, where the roles of adults and teens shift and are reshaped. The insights for artistic inquiry that I have explored here operate at different scales through new and social media. First, inquiry through art should attend to the local, embodied knowledge of individuals. In attending to this kind of knowledge, the curricula, as a space of inquiry, should occasion a reshaping of the interpretive framing of relations with the more-than-human world. This is not unlike the Assignments in Learning To Love You More, wherein the artists ask for a reexamination of familiar relations. Second, inquiry through art also attends to those relations between a collective of knowers, be these in an online community or a classroom of art students. The curriculum and pedagogy of Learning To Love You More was not just about individual artistic inquiry into local conditions and knowledge; it was also about what happens when knowledge starts to relate, interact, and overlap dynamically (Davis & Sumara, 2006). By asking for responses to previous representations of artistic inquiry in the collective knowing body, the artists prompted a shift in the ways in which participants came to relate to their ideas of one another. One of the goals and purposes of this research is to theorize and enact an inquiry-based art curricula and pedagogy, as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art. This goal is described here and more fully developed over the next three chapters. Simply, the curricula and pedagogies enacted in this study aimed to create an inquirybased curriculum that had three phases. The first phase was focused primarily on reshaping relations with ideas about happiness in our culture and personal lives. This theme was chosen because it offered a space to consider a commonly held desire of most people—to be happy—as a beginning for examining individual relations with the world as developed through digital photography and video. The art documentary film Euphoria (Boot, 2008) accompanied the first four weeks of the curriculum. It was chosen because the filmmakers present complex visual metaphors that are open for interpretation as a way to start dialogue between viewers. The aim of the filmmakers was to help viewers create new relations to ideas and to each other through dialogue. The second phase shifted towards the collective knowledge that was being enacted by participants. Specifically, the curriculum and pedagogy asked for an engagement, and 32  further artistic inquiry, into the system of ideas represented on the social network. A number of the specific strategies employed were drawn from Learning To Love You More. The third phase emphasized an extended individual inquiry in relation to the experience of inquiring with and through a collective of knowers. In the following chapter I re-present an understanding of complexity thinking to articulate understandings of learning art at the individual and collective scales as it is enacted in this curriculum, pedagogy, and social network space.  33  CHAPTER 3: COMPLEXITY THINKING If the properties of complex systems were to be compared with the practices of contemporary artists, might art educators have a better understanding of developing forms of creation, distribution, and collaboration currently in practice? If art educators were to then structure pedagogical approaches accordingly, what might these forms of networked art education look like? (Sweeny, 2008, p. 89) This chapter focuses on addressing a series of questions posed by Sweeny (2008): specifically, what can complexity thinking offer, both to design and enactments of art curricula and pedagogies, and to understandings of learning through the visual arts? The purpose of this chapter is to articulate an understanding of complexity thinking and how it is used to inform the design of the art curricula and pedagogy in this study. This is also the theoretical framework interpreting knowing, learning, and teaching through new and social media. In Chapter 2, many of the epistemological positions of embodied knowing, interobjectivity, and the relational qualities of new media art are also a part of thinking complexly. In considering the relational qualities of new media, complexity thinking has much to offer in articulating a way of theorizing phenomena that are about dynamic interrelationships across many scales. In this chapter I present a broad understanding of complexity thinking, emergent phenomena, network architecture, complexity and identity, and constraints that enable landscapes of possibility. I begin by addressing how complexity thinking expands the understandings of systems thinking by considering scales and nested structures of complex phenomena. I describe an understanding of emergence as a way to articulate how the interrelationships at one scale give rise to qualitatively different phenomena at another—for example, how the co-activity of individuals gives rise to a society. I then describe networked architectures as way to further elaborate the dynamic structures of complex systems. Such articulations are important for understanding the dynamics of learning in a collective of individuals inquiring through art. Following this, I present a theorization of identity through complexity, space, place, and time: articulations which are important for understanding identity in online contexts. I conclude this chapter by extending the metaphor of space of inquiry into landscapes of possibility. Using understandings from complexity thinking, I then articulate how certain constraints that enable can occasion a landscape of possibility for inquiry through art.  34  COMPLEXITY The roots of complexity thinking can be traced back to early efforts in cybernetics and artificial intelligence at the Bell labs in the first half of the 20th century (Waldrop, 1992). By the late 1940s, information theorist Warren Weaver presented a view of scientific knowing that was distinctive in that it addressed “dealing simultaneously with a sizable number of factors which are interrelated into an organic whole” (Weaver, 1948, p. 539). Weaver’s view acknowledges that there are phenomena in the world that cannot be understood through linear Newtonian explanations (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Nevertheless these types of scientific understandings have come to pervade our understandings of human behavior (Juarrero, 1999). Linear, efficient, and mechanistic ideas of causality have lead to metaphors of mind as machine, with input/output understandings of learning. One does not have to look far to see these metaphors embodied in the current educational culture–for example, in the high-stakes testing that is practiced in the United States. Metaphors of complexity have often been used to describe self-organizing phenomena that have no apparent central controller. They include metaphors of ant colonies, beehives, stock markets, and ecosystems, self-organizing into coherent, seemingly purposeful patterns with no apparent central controller. These are the qualities embodied in Sweeny’s (2008) questions for art education. Such metaphors have often been used to explain how dynamic, decentralized, bottom-up, emergent, and complex systems form and function (Kelly, 1994). For example, complexity deals with the self-organization and nonlinear dynamics of systems made up of many participants (Johnson, 2001). SYSTEMS THAT LEARN In education, complexity thinking has been defined as the study and support of learning systems (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Learning, as understood through complexity thinking, is the ability to adapt and anticipate new and diverse phenomena and environments. Learning systems can only recognize and respond to that which their perceptual and knowing structures are able; this means that a learning system, in its interactions with an environment, would have to somehow embody the ability to interact with an environment. Complex learning systems have histories that are enacted in relation with context. These are embodied histories of adaptations and anticipations, which give rise to interpretive framing of possible actualities. Learning can be said to take place when enacted interpretive frames are reshaped and when possible actualities, in becoming actualized, do not resemble prior actualities. From these reshapings of interpretive 35  frames emerge new interpretive possibilities (Capra, 2002). Complex systems do not learn in isolation but in relation. When multiple complex systems interact dynamically in meaningful and interdependent ways, new phenomena and interpretive possibilities emerge. TRANSPHENOMENA Powers of 10, the 1977 film (Figure 3.1) by Charles and Ray Eames, begins from a bird’s-eye-view of a picnicking couple in Chicago. The narrator explains that we will take a journey, zooming upward and traveling at the power of 10 in 10-second intervals. The camera view zooms out into the far reaches of space, stopping at the 10 to the power of 24 meters. Traveling back to earth at an accelerated pace, the camera then zooms to the sub-atomic level of protons and quarks in the hand of one of the picnickers. At each scale, from skin cells to the Milky Way Galaxy, we notice striking similarities and distinctive detail.  Image removed due to copyright. Please visit http://www.powersof10.com/  Figure 3.1. Powers of 10. Charles and Ray Eames (1977).  36  One of the differences between complexity thinking and systems theories of learning is  that of scale. Powers of 10 presents a visualization of phenomena co-existing dynamically at different scales. The interrelationships and dynamic activity of complex systems with other complex systems gives rise to qualitatively new and different phenomena. The dynamic interrelationships of cellular systems give rise to bodily systems, which give rise to human consciousness, which give rise to social groups, which give rise to cultural groups, which give rise to species, which give rise to a biosphere (Figure 3.2).  biosphere//ecology  species//biology  cultural groups//cultural studies  social groups//sociology  personal//psychology  bodily//neurology  Figure 3.2. Nested Transphenomena and Transdisciplinary Discourses. Note. From Complexity and Education: Inquires into Learning, Teaching, and Research, by B. Davis and D. Sumara, 2006, Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Adapted with permission. 37  Complexity thinking is about holding all of these phenomena in dynamic conversation when addressing learning. Complexity thinking extends nonlinear systems understandings of learning art (James, 1996, 1997). In systems understandings of artistic learning, diagrams usually show a field in which the individual, social, domain knowledge, and context are of equal size and distribution (James, 1996). Complex dynamic systems are nested (Davis & Sumara, 2006). The concept of nested phenomena contrasts with understandings that treat social and individual phenomena at relatively the same scale. This is a transphenomenal understanding of learning–one that treats learning as being possible across scales of phenomena. Learning, as a process of adaptations and anticipations, occurs nonlinearly through recursively elaborative processes of feedback loops. As individuals in the classroom learn, so does a knowledge system in the classroom, which feeds back into the systems of individuals. A system of knowledge is a dynamic complex system of ideas that results from individual artistic inquiry. It is an inefficient, nonlinear kind of causality (Juarrero, 1999), wherein the language and understandings to describe one scale of phenomena might be incapable of describing a different scale of phenomena. Here, complexity is considered not a meta-discipline; rather it is a transdisciplinary discourse (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Complexity thinking enables a dynamic conversation between the disciplines that describe specific scales of phenomena. This also is where complexity thinking is most useful to discussions of learning art in new and social media, where representations of individual inquiry and interaction online form systems of interrelations that feed back into the collective of individuals. In the new media artwork Learning To Love You More, we can observe the enactment of these kinds of dynamic interrelationships. Emergence, which comes through transformation, is a characteristic of complex dynamic systems.  TRANSFORMATION AND EMERGENCE The arts are among the resources through which individuals recreate themselves. The work of art is a process that culminates in a new art form. That art form is the recreation of the individual. Recreation is a form of recreation. The arts are among the most powerful means of promoting re-creation. (Eisner, 2002, pp. 240-241) Eisner’s statement about the arts reflects a desire to continually re-create the identity and position of an individual. Whether it was the purpose of art to raise one’s social 38  place as in the 19th and early 20th centuries (Chalmers, 2000), further the psychological development of the individual (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1963), achieve mastery of a discipline and its methods of inquiry (Barken, 1963), or emancipate the individual from the powers of culture (Tavin, 2003), art education tacitly holds transformation at the scales of individual and social as part of its purpose in education. The roots of the word transform come from “trans-” meaning “across”, and form the Latin forma, meaning “mold” or “form”. Transformation is a process of dynamic change. Transformation and emergence both describe a process of change. Here, I use emergence in place of transformation. Transformation speaks to one quality of change, as does emergence. Emergence is that which is brought forth from the dynamic interaction at one scale of phenomena to other scales. That is, via individual and collective inquiry through art, and the dialogue of understandings that occurs between participants and ideas, it gives rise to a system of knowledge that can be neither predicted nor planned for. The curriculum and pedagogy described in this dissertation is not necessarily about the transformation of an individual; rather, it is about what new forms of knowledge can emerge from new relations between artistic inquirers. It is an emergent curriculum and pedagogy. EMERGENCE In discussion of complex systems, the term emergence is typically used to describe when the interaction of individual agents gives rise to possibilities that were not previously available to any one individual. The root of the word emerges comes from the Latin emergere, meaning “to become known”, “to come to light”. Going a little further, we see that emergere is composed of the e-, a variant of ex- meaning “out”, “forth” coupled with mergere, meaning “to dip” or “to sink”. The image of a rising form contrasted with a sinking, dropping action creates a visual metaphor not unlike the dynamics of many organisms which are complex systems. On a cellular scale, forms are clustered together interdependently, giving rise to more complex forms of behavior. This is understood as an emergent structure: groups of lower-scale patterns of organization interdependently giving rise to scales of organization with qualitatively different sets of properties that are non-reducible to those of the lower scales. Steven Johnson (2001) defined emergence as “[t]he movement from low-level rules to higher-level sophistication” (p.18). The interdependent co-activity of ants, birds, and bees gives rise to descriptions of ant colonies, flocks of birds, and beehives. In the realm of human activity, individual coactivity gives rise to the qualitatively different forms of neighborhoods and societies.  39  This idea of lower-scale properties giving rise to higher scales of organization is not new. In “The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism”, McLaughlin (1992) posited that certain philosophical ideas identified with the British Emergentism movement about causal structures of reality distinguished it from most empirical science of its day. However, when British Emergentism went looking for the empirical traces of emergence it discovered its limits (McLaughlin, 1992). This tradition of thought is significant in that there are nonlinear causal influences that emerge through co-activity of certain types of micro-structures. This is what prompted Weaver (1948) to call for a new way of understanding systems. These causal powers give rise to new causal powers, and to structures that are qualitatively different. Although higher scales of organization influence smaller scales of activity and vice versa, they cannot be reduced into each other. As visualized in The Powers of 10, the amount of detail in quality and character is held intact in whatever scale you look. Fractal imagery is an illustration of this phenomena, in that no matter whether you look closely or pull back, a level of organizational detail remains intact—as does a self-similarity of patterned form.  CONSIDERING CHARACTERISTICS AND CONDITIONS OF EMERGENCE Paul Cilliers (1998) described complex systems as being characterized by a number of elements; these elements interact dynamically; the interactions are fairly rich, nonlinear, and have a fairly short range; and the interconnections are a process of feedback loops. The complex system itself is bounded, yet open; it moves away from equilibrium or stasis; it has a history of interactions; and its individual elements are not aware of the whole system. Cilliers (1998) stressed this last point by stating that individual elements “cannot contain the complexity of the whole system and can therefore neither control nor comprehend it fully” (p. 122). This characteristic underscores how the position of the observer is limited in perceiving the complexity of entire systems. It also informs an attitude taken in the pedagogy enacted in this art curricula, of not wanting to control individuals or the collective, but rather wanting to participate as a part of the collective. Emergence is an important idea for art education if we are to think about what it means to be a space for transformational processes. The conditions for the emergence of a complex learning system are too numerous to count (Davis & Sumara, 2006). List-making is inherently problematic, but what Cilliers and many others have done is to begin describing some of those characteristics and 40  conditions of complex dynamic systems that bring emergence. I emphasize specific characteristics and conditions in this study. I focus on dynamic, rich, nonlinear, and short ranged interactions, also described as neighboring interactions; decentralized network structures; feedback loops or recursive elaboration, and histories of complex systems. Some conditions were already established, in the sense that they were created by the structure of the educational design. For example, the use of a closed social network site to protect the identities of the participants created an ambiguously bounded and organizationally closed system. It meant that the knowing system was open in that the participants contributed local knowledge through text and image into it, yet remained closed in the sense that such information streams were stable. To use the analogy of human sensory input: we did not grow extra eyes or ears from the addition of new participants throughout the course of the study. The next sections describe the characteristics and conditions of emergence that were attempted in the art curricula and pedagogy through our social network site. INTERACTIONS The quality and kinds of interactions in this study’s social network site were key to the emergence of a complex collective knowledge system. Yet, interactions and relations between individuals were not enough for the design of the curriculum. There had to be something to interact with—a common and shared interest or idea. Curiously, however, emergence tends to occur when individuals are deeply committed to their own local knowledge (Surowiecki, 2004). This means that the art curriculum was not a group project, like a mural designed and painted through consensus. It was a curriculum that asked for the kind of local knowledge that only an individual could provide. The aim in the curricular design for this study was to create both a space and a process where each individual’s local knowledge could interact, and where ideas could bounce up against one another (Davis & Sumara, 2006). The qualities of such interactions are dynamic, rich, nonlinear, and short-ranged. Dynamic interactions are understood here as constant exchanges between participants. Meaning exists in relations and dialogues. This was enacted through individual messages, comments posted in response to images, blogs, and forum dialogues; all of these helped create a dynamic system of knowledge. The knowledge system was dependent on continual interaction between participants, even if it was a simple “hey, I like your photo.” When dynamic interactions stop, so does the complex learning system. 41  Rich interactions are understood here as a diversity of ways to respond and relate. Participants could respond to each other in a diversity of ways, meaning that interactions were rich not only in kinds of textual exchanges, but in ways such as posting an image, an emoticon, or a hyperlink to another Web site. Rich interactions can also be thought of as the diversity of ideas represented in the dialogues, images, texts, and Web references. Nonlinear interactions are understood here as asymmetrical. This means that flows of interactions are multidirectional. In contrast to linear interactions, which flow in one direction, nonlinear interactions—although intended for one participant—can affect another. For example, a comment posted in response to an image can be read by another participant and thereby affect his or her learning (see Chapter 6). As some dialogues between participants are public, they affect the collective. Short-ranged or neighboring interactions are understood as proximity between those who interact. This is easy to understand in classroom contexts, where students who work and sit next to each other affect each other, and where interactions affect and are affected by the social relationships brought from outside of the classroom. This was seen initially in our social network, where participants who previously shared social bonds interacted with each other first. Neighboring interactions can also be described in terms of the proximity and connection between ideas. INTERCONNECTIONS The kinds of interactions described flowed through specific types of interconnections. In complex systems, the structure of interconnections is decentralized. Decentralized networks are structures that do not have one central controller or hub; rather, they are linked through a series of well-connected centers or hubs. More importantly, decentralized networks describes the dynamics of a complex system. What is important here is how feedback loops in a decentralized system enable recursively elaborative patterns of interactions. Feedback loops refers to the quality of interconnection that characterizes the dynamic quality of complex systems. Feedback is when a prior actuality, embodied in the history of the complex system, loops to influence action in the present or future. Capra (2002) stated that emergence “takes place at critical points of instability that arise from 42  fluctuations in the environment, amplified by feedback loops" (p. 116). Feedback is a circular process in which the result of something is the source for the next iteration. Points of instability arise at the scales of individual and collective. They occur when the event triggering the process of emergence may be an offhand comment, which may not even seem important to the person who made it but is meaningful to some people in a community of practice. (Capra, 2002, p. 117) Because the event is meaningful to the knowing system, its affect is distributed through a decentralized network of links, circulated through feedback loops, and further amplified at each iteration. When this knowledge is amplified to the point where the present structure can no longer handle it, or rather, when the information does not easily fit into the already-present categories of organization, it modifies the structure to adapt to the new knowledge—either by abandoning prior behaviors, or by enlarging them to accommodate this new knowledge. This is how complex systems learn. In this study, new structures of knowledge were not designed by any one individual; rather they resulted from our dynamic, collective inquiry through art. Feedback loops also describe recursively elaborative processes. Recursive elaboration is understood as looping process that references a prior action into a future action. It is not unlike the theorization of knowing presented in Chapter 2, and the process of iteration in design-based research. In the context of the art curriculum enacted in this study, weekly prompts and questions referenced not only prior prompts, but also the ideas represented in the dialogues and images of participants. Recursive elaboration is dependent on a prior actuality, an embodied history of ideas in the knowledge system. HISTORY OF INTERACTIONS A complex system of knowers and learners embodies a history of interactions. Interactions carve out understandings in a possibility landscape and read like a topography. A history of interactions is found in the dynamic knowledge system that emerges from the patterned interactions of knowers. Knowledge systems embody a history of ideas and the relationships between them. For a system of knowledge to be dynamic and emergent, it needs a history as a reference for possible new knowledge. One of the advantages of using a social network is asynchronous communication. This means that communication or dialogue need not occur in real-time; rather, it may occur through time. This also creates traces of relationships between ideas. For the  43  researcher, these traces offer an opportunity to visualize the recursively elaborative patterns of a collective knowledge system.  NETWORKS Complex dynamic systems are structuring, structured structures (Davis & Sumara, 2006). In other words, complex dynamic systems are (a) structuring, that is, constantly adapting to that which is at hand; (b) structured, that is, having a history of adaptations; and (c) structure, that is, an ambiguously bounded, organizationally closed system. The architecture of these structures is best described as networks. Therefore this section looks first to describe types of network structures, and second, to look at the purpose of network structures in art curriculum and pedagogy.  STRUCTURES OF NETWORK SCIENCE AND HISTORY The history of the study of networks can be traced to Leonard Euler’s desire to solve the Königsberg Bridge problem, which asked: “Does there exist any single path that crosses all seven bridges exactly once each?” (Newman, Barabåsi, & Watts, 2006, p. 1). Euler’s attempt at solving this riddle employed the use of a graph, a mathematical object consisting of points, complete with nodes and links. Graph theory rose to become the major force in describing the properties of networks in the 20th century (Newman et al., 2006). In the second half of the 20th century, graph theory was taken up by sociology to help understand data from ethnographic studies (Wasserman & Faust, 1994). Perhaps the most famous of studies of network structures in social systems is Migram’s smallworld problem (Milgram, 1967). Milgram’s experiment focused on the average number of social connections between any two people in the United States. The study demonstrated that the social connections between individuals averages around six people. It led to the term Six Degrees of Separation, although this was never mentioned in the study. The term network is now used in descriptions of all manner of social interactions, from the rise of cities to the dynamics of fads. Beyond just the label of social media as social networks, network theory has emerged as a way to understand the structural dynamics of complex systems. There are many ways to use a network understanding to describe relational phenomena, from molecules to the Internet and social groups, from power grids to the structure of ideas. Lakoff and Johnson (1999) described how we make sense out of the world by building complex metaphors that are themselves constructed through associations to primary metaphors. 44  Associations between this and that are how we build cohesive understandings of the world. Thus meaning is never self-evident, but always in relation. These relations are structured in terms of hubs as ideas, and links as associations. Cilliers (1998) conceptualized networks of linguistic structures. Linguistic semiotics and human relations in post-structural understandings have often used the metaphor of networks to describe the relationships of power, production, and meaning (Derrida, 1982; Foucault, 1980). For Cilliers, nodes on the network are constituted through their connections to other nodes, which are those traces that run through them. Cilliers used the node as an analogy for Derrida’s sign. This network of relations is flat, meaning that there is one center or essential meaning. To be meaningful, meaning needs relations. We often understand what a word means through the relations and associations not only of the sentence structure in which it is found and what has come before, but also of our personal understandings of the word and its etymological roots. All come to shape its meaning as it is encountered in that moment. Outside of linguistics, networks of associations shape how we think and make sense of the world, how information flows through the Internet, and how diseases and fads spread. In this study, network understandings are key to understanding the structure of knowledge and participants’ relationship to each other through the social network. NETWORKS AND POWER Foucault describes power not as an organ of oppression, meaning that power does not reside in things. Power resides in action. It moves through network structures. Social scientist Castells’ (1996) research delineated a theory of societal and economic activity as a “networked society.” He stated: This information age has never been a technological matter. It has always been a matter of social transformation, a process of social change in which technology is an element that is inseparable from social, economic, cultural, and political trends. (Castells, 2001, p. 3) For Castells, technology is the determining factor in pronounced network behavior; rather, it is co-specified by social and economic activity. Technology does not determine a networked society, but it enables the possibility of these types of activities and interpretive frames to emerge. Castells’ theories surrounding networked societies tended toward conclusions in which he placed the space and flows of networks in a timeless and non-existent space. For him, this creates a view in which the desire of people to be 45  rooted in a place is dissolved. As a result, globally networked economies that find meaning not in place but in power and production become systems of oppression. Global capitalism has ravaged local economies and exploited untold amounts of workers and ecosystems; however, the use of network metaphors to describe resistance to this phenomenon is missing from his work. Networks are not inherently good or bad; rather, they are the structures in which power flows. One counter-example to Castells is the World Trade Organization protests in 1999. These were described as a leaderless movement (Johnson, 2001). This movement was a network of smaller groups, such as anit-Nike protesters, radical environmentalists, labor unions, and so forth. For the most part they operated independently, coming together occasionally to share information and coordinate action. By having a decentralized system of resistance, they were collectively able to consistently hold together a more sustained protest than if they had been following one leader or leadership hierarchy. This movement was also enabled by networked new and social media technologies (for example, mobile phones, chat rooms, and Web sites) to coordinate embodied local action. Though power and systems of oppression do flow through network structures (Foucault, 1994), networks are not inherently democratic or undemocratic, oppressive or liberating; rather, it is the interpretation of the dynamics of networked relations that describes our own cultural values we impose on them. Those who are in power might see their actions as the functioning of government, while those who are subjected through the power in networks might experience it as inherently oppressive.  NETWORK STRUCTURES A variety of structures can be referenced to describe the morphology of networks (Barney, 2004). I wish to describe three network forms: distributed, centralized, and decentralized. Making up these network forms are nodes and links, which connect nodes. The number and quality of links define the characteristics of nodes. NODE Nodes can be described as a bounded system. Nodes are elements of a system, such as the vital organs of an organism, or the distinct components of an idea. In this study I use the idea of nodes to represent participants, their ideas, their images, and ideas of the collective. Nodes can be connection points or terminuses. Cell phones and computers are nodes; in pre-Web 2.0, computers acted more as terminuses whereas  46  now they act more and more like communication channels. Nodes are where links intersect and connect. LINKS Links are associations between nodes. In this study, they could be considered to be the associations and relations between participants and their ideas. Links have distances between nodes; the closer or shorter the links between nodes, the stronger the association between them. For example, participants who knew each other outside of the study, such as Opti and Gaelan or Sophie and Mango who are close friends in school, were more apt to comment and respond to each other’s images than they were to someone they did not already share a link with. This did not mean that participants who did not know each other previous to participating in the study did not establish new links. Links can also be thought of as a relation or interconnection between any two elements. HUBS Key to understanding the dynamics of decentralized networks are hubs. Hubs are nodes that have proportionately more links or ties than do other nodes in a network. Examples include major airports like London-Heathrow or Frankfurt: fly anywhere in Europe from North America and you are likely to go through one of those two airports. They act as hubs because many smaller airports associate with them through their links, or flights, to and from there. Ideas can act as hubs: for example, sustainability is becoming a hub in which all sorts of areas of inquiry are associating, such as education, design, architecture, and economics. All decentralized networks have multiple hubs, that is, nodes with a much larger proportion of links. I will now describe how these network features can be organized in three broad categories: distributed, centralized, and decentralized. DISTRIBUTED Distributed networks have a structure that has few, if any, hubs in its architecture. This was the architecture for the U.S. Army communication network, ARPANET, one of the precursors to the Internet (Leiner et al., 2000). Distributed networks are comprised of nodes that have a fairly even distribution of links. The reason the U.S. Army was interested in this design was because of its ability to distribute information even if multiple nodes (cities) were taken out in a nuclear attack. Its advantage is that it is very  47  resistant to failure in communication, although it can also be very inefficient in terms of the time taken for information to make all the jumps from one node to another. CENTRALIZED A centralized network has many nodes, all linking to one central hub. This type of network architecture is very efficient and effective at communicating and distributing information. Centralized networks do not enable communication between nodes, other than through the centralized hub, which makes for inefficient communication between elements in the network. It is also much more vulnerable to breakdown if the centralized hub is removed or unable to communicate effectively. DECENTRALIZED A decentralized network is one with a distributed amount of nodes, with the exception that there are a number of hubs, or nodes with proportionally more links than a majority of nodes in the network. Decentralized networks are characterized as scale-free, which is the underlying structure of complex dynamic systems. Scale-free networks are characterized as having a degree distribution of links to hubs that follows a power law. It has been empirically observed in protein networks, citation networks, and the World Wide Web (Barabási, 2003). Power-law distributions are a type of mathematical relationship between two quantities, one fixed, the other proportional. This means that small occurrences of a phenomenon are common, while larger ones are more rare. Barabási’s (2003) research has shown that in the terms of how the World Wide Web has grown, it is no longer the distributed network it was when it began but has become a decentralized network with certain Web sites acting as hubs. Google or The New York Times Web sites serve as hubs, with many links intersecting through them.  DYNAMIC NETWORK STRUCTURES Decentralized networks are dynamic structures, not static, but constantly add and prune new links, nodes, and hubs. They are structured, structuring structures. Networks should be understood not as fixed hardwired properties underlying the architecture of complex dynamic systems, but rather as adaptive and context-sensitive. Networks are also flat, meaning that there is no governing metaphysical blueprint; rather, it is a set of relational properties. The metaphor of decentralized networks can be used to describe classrooms as complex learning systems. What is very important here is that decentralized classrooms do not mean getting out of the way, or that there is no center; rather, it means there multiple centers from participants to ideas. Decentralized network 48  metaphors are more useful in describing the dynamics of learning rather than any hierarchy of power or responsibility in a classroom. Decentralized networks are also referred to as scale-free networks. Scale-free networks are governed by power-law distributions, meaning that they grow proportionally in relation to the amount of well-connected nodes or hubs (Watts, 2003). Decentralized networks have a proportionately fewer amount of hubs than they do individual nodes. The growth of decentralized networks have certain relational properties of growth. DYNAMICS OF A DECENTRALIZED NETWORK As opposed to a bicycle-hub shape of a centralized network, decentralized networks have multiple hubs, all competing for links. The word competing denotes a sense that certain hubs just attract more associations than others. Again, we do this in our thinking, especially in our use of metaphors to organize our ideas, associating complex metaphors with primary metaphors (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999). Rather than suggesting that primary metaphors are somehow fundamental building blocks used to piece together complex metaphors, I suggest that they are more appropriately described as complex metaphors built through association with many primary metaphors. For instance, the category of transportation is a hub with links to walking, bicycling, driving, flying, and so on. Transportation, for example, is not a totalizing hierarchy, but rather a hub comprised of other hubs—such as cars, which may be associated in another web of relations, such as climate change. Decentralized networks have a few number of wellconnected hubs, and links to these hubs are based on preferential attachment. Watts (2003) argued that when a network is first established, “links between nodes come into existence entirely independent of one another. At any point in the construction process, poorly connected nodes are just as likely to make or receive new connections as are the best-connected nodes” (p. 108). In an ideal and fair world every node or idea would receive an equal amount of links over time. Research by Barabási and Albert (1999) found that scale-free networks grow in a rich-get-richer way, meaning that nodes with more links get more links in proportion to their already established ones. Watts (2003) continued: “if one node has twice as many links as another node, then it is precisely twice as likely to receive a new link” (p. 108). For example, with online videos, views beget views, and search hits beget more search hits in ranking and search results.  49  Decentralized networks are dynamic, evolving structures. The term describes the architecture of complex dynamic systems. The concept is useful in interpreting complex phenomena. In this dissertation, decentralized networks are used to structure a curriculum and analyze its design. This was especially true in the second phase of the curriculum, when participants were asked to attend to the ideas within the growing collection of images posted. The dynamics of decentralized networks is important in the data visualization of our knowledge system that is offered in Chapter 9. The metaphor of decentralized networks is not one of removing a center; rather, it describes the dynamics of complex systems. I have described scaled and nested qualities of complex systems, conditions and characteristics of emergence, and the structures of networks. All of these understandings play important roles in the curricular design and interpretation of data in this study. I now move to describe understandings of space and place in relation to identity and complex systems. This is important for conceptualizing the sites of research as both online and offline and the identities of the participants.  SPACE, PLACE, IDENTITY, AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS Throughout this dissertation I use metaphors of space and place to describe artistic inquiry, curricula, and learning in and through new and social media. I begin this section by first examining how space and place are linked to time, because to discuss space or place, the dynamics of time must also be considered. I then examine how complex dynamic systems are identified by their patterns of activity and relations, rather than by any fixed, locatable object or agents. Identity is understood here as coherent patterns of activity through space, place, and time. SPACE, PLACE, AND TIME Space and place are often conceptualized in terms of three dimensions: height, length, and width. The difference in the definitions of the two terms is that space is an area that is unoccupied, empty, or available, while place is defined as an area that is a point in space, usually occupied or identified. Defining space and place as presence and absence in this way is inherently problematic because of the exclusion of time (Massey, 1994). Space, that which is empty, is often presumed to be static or fixed, and like space, place is similarly tied to a fixed identity or impermeable boundary.  50  Space, then, can only be experienced and subsequently observed through and with time. To understand concepts of space or place, one has to have embodied some kind of movement through a space or place. Space and place change as an observer moves, which makes them contingent on the moving position of the observer. There is no such thing as a static observer; there are only attempts, through power, to fix a space or place, with language creating an impermeable boundary. The interdependent nature of space, place, and time challenges this notion of a space or place that is fixed or static. In fact, they are dynamic. If space, then, is interdependent with time because it is linked to the dynamic movement of an observer, the ways that observers frame spaces become inextricably linked to their own interpretive framings based on their own embodied histories. Our perceptions and descriptions of any space or place construct it, and attempt to fix it; yet they adapt constantly to its dynamic and temporal nature. The observer and observed are co-specifying. When used as a descriptor in this study, and especially when used to describe the social network, place is defined as an intersection of specific relations. The place of the social network required participants to explicitly redefine their self-described social relations and understandings by creating pseudonyms and visual metaphors for their online profiles. The requirement that participants construct an identity that was not explicitly linked to their physical identity had the effect of reordering and reconstituting social relations. Massey (1994) stated that “within this dynamic simultaneity which is space, phenomena may be placed in relationship to one another in such a way that new social effects are provoked” (p. 4). This is an important understanding to interpreting identity construction by teens online. IDENTITY Space, place, and time are interdependent to an observer. The participants and I shaped our space, thus making it a place through our actions and descriptions. Our place was an intersection of particular relations. This intersection of relations and descriptions of our relations shaped our identities. Place is understood as a space and time of particulars. The particulars of a place also bring the politics, power struggles, and social conflicts associated with attempts to fix and define a place. Such attempts to fix space create associations between those who inhabit a certain place and those who move through it. As educators, we are constantly 51  constructing identities of our students through associations of place, for example: “this student might be trouble; he comes from a bad neighborhood.” Massey (1994) also described the construction of gender as associated with the social norms of a particular place. For example, home or nature are places that are often associated with ideas of what it means to be a heterosexual female. The cultural norms generated from a pattern of activity and descriptions in a place both shape and are shaped by identities. Identity, then, is interwoven into and through space, place, and time. It is defined here as patterns of activity that can be demarcated from a space, yet it is inextricably a feature and a dimension of place. Complex dynamic systems are not concrete, fixed objects. They are irreducible to their component parts. A complex dynamic system is defined or identified through its recursively elaborative patterns of activity. If we are to understand place as a dynamic intersection of interdependent phenomena, we must understand it as a place of emergence. Juarrero (2002) used the concept of invariance, or robustness, to describe how complex dynamic systems operate with a meta-level stability. In patterns of activity, such meta-level stability is far from stable; in fact, it is always moving away from equilibrium. Juarrero deploys this idea of invariance to counter the Platonic ideal form, to dislodge the idea that the any one component is a meta-level controller. The popular misconception that DNA is the sole determinant of disease, health, and physiology can be attributed to the linear, deterministic understandings of causality (Juarrero, 1999). No one event or object represents or even determines the totality of an identity; rather, it is the coordinated relations between other agents, participants, cells, and so on that make an identity one thing and not another (Juarrero, 1999). What makes an identity one thing or another is also wrapped up in an observer’s position of making distinctions. Such distinctions and criteria shape how we signify an identity. We frequently identify something as being inextricably linked to a fixed object or state. The body, which recycles all of its cells every seven years, is still identified as a self, even though the actual cellular material that make up the body are different, having been renewed through a pattern of coordinated interactions between bodily systems. If I were to lose a toe, would I lose my identity? Francisco Varela (1991) asked a similar question: “What do the cells that make up my body now have in common with the cells that will make up my body in, say, seven years?” (p. 65), to which he answered “And, of course, the question contains its own answer: what they have in common is that they both make up my body and therefore make up some kind of pattern through time that is supposedly my  52  self” (p. 65). What it depends on is signifying an identity and the criteria of identity. Varela stated: For something to be the same (to have some kind of invariant pattern or form) it must suffer some change, for otherwise one would not be able to recognize that it had stayed the same. Conversely, for something to change there must also be some kind of implicit permanence that acts as a reference point in judging a change has occurred. (p. 65) The next questions then become: How to demarcate the edges of those patterns of activity? How can we describe a boundary that is bounded yet porous enough to be able to make distinctions? Juarrero (2002) characterized the boundaries of identities of complex dynamic systems as looking more “like bramble bushes in a thicket than like stones” (p. 103). Complex systems are bounded and have an operational closure, a coherence that distinguishes them from the context which they are embedded within and engaged with. Important to point out is the fact that distinguishing a complex system from a context does not separate it into discrete elements; rather, it identifies it as a distinguishable pattern of activity. Returning to the network structures of complex systems, we are able to see that networks are never context-free; rather, they are embedded in a context, and what is usually used to distinguish the identity of one network from another is not its boundaries but the strength of its links (Watts, 2003). In social relations thought of as network structures, individuals choose to participate in contexts which gives form to the identity of the context, for example, a common interest group. The contexts that individuals are associated with through activity shape their own identities. Here the metaphor of brambles becomes appropriate: associations are overlapping, tangled, and intertwined, and supporting each other in an environment; yet one bramble does not support another through the bifurcations in the branches. To distinguish one bramble from another we would need to pull them apart. Yet the bramble bush is also contingent on the soil, water table, and myriad other factors that support its ability to be a bramble bush. This same metaphor can describe complex dynamic systems, no matter the scale: from bodily subsystems to students and teachers in an art classroom. Enacted in a time and place, our identities are bound to each other. NEW MEDIA AND IDENTITY Contemporary art and new media employ a relational aesthetic to reshape those perceived boundaries of the self in knowing (Bourriaud, 1998; Hansen, 2004). This is 53  what new and social media do in the construction and performance of an identity. In our digital spaces and places, our activities are now recorded as flecks of identity (Fuller, 2005). In all of our online activity we create a record that is traceable. Fuller defined flecks of identity as variables and events. From the perspectival scale of such systems, life is a trail of triggers and tokens: date, time, location, status, speed, choice, amount, accomplices. Surveillance, not simply as eyes, but rather as a processual dynamic of composition occurring in and as a phase space, occurs not just in space, but in history. (p.148) When aggregated, the flecks of identity that we create through our online activity could be interpreted as both an online and offline identity. Fuller (2005) used a hypothetical example of being pulled over for a minor driving offense. When police check your records against an online database they are also looking for those who exhibit the probability of committing future crimes. In a possible future, police officer's department may have access to commercial databases that have tracked all of your download and Internet viewing habits, your social networking activity and associations, profile pictures, emails, television viewing and movie rental habits, to construct an identity of you. Say, for instance, you watch race car driving, view race car Web sites, download videos about evasive driving, and have even purchased radar detectors. The police officer who pulls you over will have a pattern of activity from which she or he can make a decision either to write you a ticket or to give you a warning. Fuller went on to describe how the prosecution in a court case might present this data to a judge as a pattern of activity that suggests future driving offenses might occur. The obvious danger here, Fuller argued, is that flecks of identity could come to supplant a citizen. Soon, participants in digital activities will be identified, classified, and judged through those flecks of identity. Patterns of activity online are observed, described, and classified into identities just as are offline places; the difference is that there is now a searchable history of activity in which a pattern can be more clearly traced. Every time we go online, we are creating a patterned identity through our looking and posting of images, texts, and videos. A whole web of associations is drawn and subject to interpretation when distinctions are made about what makes one identity different from another. The understandings of space, place, identity, and complex systems described here offer a theoretical framework for interpreting the activity, knowing, and learning in the social network used in this study. They are also helpful in describing the identity of this 54  collective of artists inquiring through this place of the social network. I have described the scaled and nested qualities of complex systems, conditions, and characteristics of emergence; the structures and dynamics of networks; and space, place, and identity. The third section of this chapter describes constraints that enable landscapes of possibility and the insights they offer to the design of this art curricula and to the enactment of pedagogy.  LANDSCAPING A PLACE OF POSSIBILITY Attending to the interactions, interconnections, and histories of complex systems does not necessarily enable emergence. Here, I articulate that art curricula need to enact context-sensitive constraints in order to enable complex emergence. I highlight two scales at which an art teacher can enact context-sensitive constraints. Firstly, they can design and enact context-sensitive constraints that prompt a reshaping of interpretive frames through artistic inquiry. Secondly, they can conceptualize the teaching of art as a kind of consciousness between individuals and emergent collective knowledge systems. I now describe these two features and their influence on the art curricula and pedagogy enacted in this study by using Juarrero’s (1999) understanding of causality in complex dynamic systems as shaped by context-sensitive constraints. CONSTRAINTS: CAUSALITY IN A COMPLEX DYNAMIC SYSTEMS VIEW A complex systems view of cause enables us to think of the project of transformation and emergence differently in art education. Through an understanding of human behavior, at the level of individual and social, as influenced by context-sensitive constraints, art curricula and its enactment with art pedagogy can transform a landscape of possibilities. In chapter two, I described how knowing is effective action in the space between prior and possible actualities. It is in this space, where interpretive frames are enacted to shape and guide action through a possible actuality, that art curricula and pedagogy can act, both at the scale of individual and collective. Complex systems are those phenomena that cannot be explained in simple Newtonian mechanics or through efficient cause. Complex systems arise from individuals’ dynamic interactions that result in an interdependency among the individuals, and that give rise to possibilities for action and patterns of activity not available to the individuals separately. This is different from causality, understood as atoms crashing into each other. In complex systems, nonlinear feedback loops through the different scales of organization, creating an inter-scale causality through constraints (Juarrero, 1999). Higher scales of 55  organization exert a level of causal influence over its constituent parts, and vice versa. This is not efficient cause, in a linear sense, but a recursively elaborative process made possible through feedback loops. Constraints are “relational properties that parts acquire in virtue of being unified—not just aggregated—into a systematic whole” (Juarrero, 1999, p. 133). One could say that the constraints of Learning To Love You More reorders those relational properties in how individuals came both to relate with their local contexts and to interact online to create a dynamic system. Relational properties simultaneously constrain the possibilities available to a system and open up new possibilities. Through the limitation of possibilities, coherence can emerge. In other words, complexity is not possible without constraints. Juarrero (1999) stated that “a situation of complete randomness where alternatives are equiprobable you could say anything but in fact do say nothing” (p. 133). Having a topology or landscape of equal possibilities, is equivalent to a state of equilibrium. It is like the hiss of static, a wall of equal probability of a meaningful message, which ends up being meaningless. In creating a landscape of possibilities, prior actualities must be referenced because without such there can be no possibilities for future action. It is a constraint that is context-sensitive, because the history of a complex system shapes its future possibility interdependently with the context in which it is embedded. Maturana and Varela (1992) described this as structural coupling. Structural coupling occurs when there is a “history of recurrent interactions leading to the structural congruence between two (or more) systems” (p. 75). The interactions between an individual and her or his environment constitute a history of interactions consisting of reciprocal perturbations. This inefficient feedback loop of causal influence is present within bounded complex systems. Descriptions of causal influence cannot be limited to perturbations from one source to another; they must also consider reciprocity. Maturana and Varela (1992) stated that in “these interactions, the structure of the environment only triggers structural changes in the autopoietic unities (it does not specify or direct them), and vice versa for the environment” (p. 75). This understanding is incorporated into the design of this study’s curricula in art. Other questions that informed this design were: can an art assignment, prompt, problem, or question of inquiry reference the embodied histories of students while prompting new interpretive possibilities? Is there room for the art assignment to be equally moved and shaped through a reciprocity with the students as they inquire through art? Can an art 56  curriculum reciprocally engage with students’ inquiry? It is not just about an art curriculum and pedagogy that blindly follows participants’ interests; nor does it impose a rigid expectation for what art inquiry is. Rather, it is a reciprocal interrelationship between curriculum and participant. TOPOLOGIES OF POSSIBILITY LANDSCAPES Here, I will develop the metaphor of landscape elaborating on the ideas presented about virtualities and possible actualities. Juarrero (1999) used the landscape metaphor to describe a space of possible action available to a complex system. She did this through the idea of attractors, which for complex dynamic systems are the “trajectories that converge on typical patterns” (Juarrero, 1999, p. 152). While there are many types of attractors, I would like to focus on complex ones. Complex attractors describes patterns of interaction “so intricate that is difficult to discern an overarching order amid the disorder they allow” (Juarrero, 1999, p. 155). This means that although complex attractors exert a pull towards a probable patterns of interaction, they are wide enough to allow for a high degree of local fluctuation. These intricate patterns of interactions that at one scale seem chaotic and complicated, but that at a different scale form a discernible pattern of activity—an identity. Take the idea of attractors and overlay it onto a landscape. The shapes that are carved out of a landscape are considered basins of attraction. Like a geographic feature, a basin of attraction functions the same way as does a physical one, by pulling patterns of interactions toward it, like flows of water or wind. In this sense, however, the attractor is not gravity but the shape of the basin itself. Topologically speaking, the ridges, cliffs, and mountain ranges separating these basins are termed as repellers. Sharp peaks or saddle points are what lower levels of organization in complex dynamic systems avoid. The steeper the walls that a basin of attraction carves in the landscape, the less likely it is that the system will change its behavior to another trajectory. It is important to understand the limits of this metaphor, and to modify it to represent the dynamics of complex systems. Landscapes that we experience are usually perceived on a time scale that renders them practically immobile. Avalanches, tsunamis, and other catastrophes are obvious exceptions. Possibility landscapes are dynamically shifting and overlapping. Our possibility landscapes change as we move through them, sense them, and adapt to them. Our basins of attractors change as contexts change through our movement. Perceptions consist of perceptually guided action, and structures of knowing 57  emerge through recurrent patterns of interaction. In the process of recurring interactions and relations, we perceive that which is in front of us through creation of a landscape of possibility. Our landscapes are not flat; they are shaped by the contexts in which we are embedded and by our embodied histories. They change as we move through them. Drawing from the field of artificial intelligence, Juarrero used the example of clean-up units to describe the adaptive abilities needed to navigate a possibility landscape. Cleanup units monitor the effectiveness of perceptually guided actions. They also modify, or constrain, the range of perceptually guided actions that are taken by a complex system. Possibility landscapes have many scales, such as neurological, biological, psychological, social, cultural, and environmental systems. All of them play a role, embodying a history that plays out, interacts, conflicts and shapes each other. At the scales of individuals and collectives in our art classrooms, we enact possibility landscapes that are fine-grained, which means they have a diverse range of histories, and yet shared through a specific and patterned interaction. In a landscape of possibility, it is at the scale of the individual and in between the individual and collective knowledge systems that teachers can act—by pointing out new possible basins to individuals and those of the collective. CONSTRAINTS THAT ENABLE IN ART CURRICULA Constraints that enable in art classroom contexts (Castro, 2004, 2007) are questions, prompts, occasions, or events that reference embodied histories so that individuals can recognize and be moved by them. Constraints that enable are articulated by Davis and Sumara (2006) as structural conditions that help to determine the balance between sources of coherence that allow a collective to maintain focus of purpose/identity and sources of disruption and randomness that compel the collective to constantly adjust and adapt (p. 147). Context-sensitive constraints create spaces that can orient and enable artistic inquiry. Doll (1989) described the qualities of a constraint that enables in the context of a sixthgrade mathematics classroom as something which had “enough of a burr to stimulate the students into rethinking their habitual methods but not so much of a burr that reorganization would fall apart or not be attempted” (p. 67). Questions and prompts can take on an existential quality by asking for a reconsideration and reshaping of accepted 58  understandings and by inviting elaboration and extension through art inquiry (Castro, 2004). Juarrero (1999) stated that “context-sensitive constraints are thus the causal (but not efficiently causal) engine that drives creative evolution, not through forceful impact but by making things interdependent” (p. 150). Context-sensitive constraints enable interdependence between individuals and embodied histories. Kathryn Hayles (2001) described constraints in her classroom as limiting metaphors in her teaching. [C]onstraints act in dynamic conjunction with metaphoric language to articulate the rich possibilities of distributed cognitive systems that include human and nonhuman actors. Neither completely constrained nor entirely free, we act within these systems with partial agency amid local specificities that help to determine our behavior, even as our behavior also helps to configure the system. We are never only conscious students, for distributed cognition take place throughout the body as well as without; we are never texts, for we exist as embodied entities in physical contexts too complex to be reduced to semiotic codes; and we never act with complete agency, just as we are never completely without agency. (p. 158) What Hayles so elegantly described is that our agency is never complete, yet never absent, and that those constraints which limit our activity in biological, social, cultural, and ecological systems are also a source of our individual and collective possibility. In our art classrooms, constraints are abundant—from desks to school bell schedules. The opportunity is in those constraints that we can effect. The kinds of constraints that we can enact as art teachers are what Juarrero termed second-order constraints, which are top-down in that they impose a certain level of causal influence on the individual and on the collective. The scale where we enact these second-order constraints is two-fold. First, it is at the scale of an individual. We can enact context-free constraints, meaning that we impose constraints that are not sensitive to the context where they are enacted. Context-free constraints close off any openings for the embodied histories and local knowledge of individuals outside of schooling. Such enactment involves imposing an order on an individual so that they conform and adapt to the conditioning of the constraint. Meaning is usually found at the level of performing as a good student. Context-free constraints are usually characterized through a convergence on pre-existing points of knowledge. Juarrero used the image of a  59  pendulum coming to rest at a single point or at its attractor to describe context-free constraints. On the other hand, context-sensitive constraints are an occasion for prior possibilities embodied by individuals and collectives to be enacted, extended and elaborated. It is a reshaping of interpretive frames, enacted at the scale of individual and collective. At the level of the individual, it asks for a reconsideration and reordering of interpretive frames that are dependent on prior actualities. It is an act of enabling individuals to enter into a spaces of uncertainty, to encounter the limits of their knowledge, and to be able to reorganize previous understandings and interpretive frames into new patterns of knowing about themselves in the world, as part of the world. Art curricula can be a space for the reshaping of the contours of enacted interpretive frames, in between a space of prior and possible actualities through artistic inquiry. ART TEACHER AS A CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE COLLECTIVE The second scale at which a teacher can act is in between individuals and the collective knowledge system. As individuals enact and reshape their possibility landscapes, through the reshaping of the contours of interpretive frames, they become interdependent—a knowing system. As Hayles described, individuals act amid local constraints, both shaping and being shaped by the enactments of each other’s possibility landscapes. This gives rise to a collective knowledge system. It is between the dynamic interactions of an individual and collective knowledge system that a teacher can act as a of consciousness of the collective (Davis, 2005). Conceptualizing the teacher as a consciousness is not about conceptualizing him or her as a controller; it places the teacher in the networked collective rather than outside or above the dynamic network of relationships. There is no “God’s-Eye” position here, because there are limits to the conscious awareness that individuals can enact. Recalling the assertion of Cilliers (1998) that individuals in a complex system cannot know nor control the whole of a complex system means that a consciousness of a collective cannot be aware of everything all of the time. In these terms, consciousness is considered both a commenter and an organizer of a collective knowledge system (Donald, 2001; Nørretranders, 1998). Thought of this way, teaching “is not about prompting a convergence onto pre-existent truths, but about divergence into new interpretive possibilities” (Davis, 2005, p. 87). In this definition, the art teacher’s position is fluid in relation their own beliefs and knowledge, to art curricula, and to students. This 60  enables an art teacher to participate within these possibility landscapes as a consciousness. This is possible through teaching that attends towards themes and knowledge that are emergent in the collective. Context-sensitive constraints here are informed by the teacher’s awareness of those enacted possibility landscapes and the basins of attraction, and of how they come to shape a dynamic knowledge system. By acting as a consciousness (Juarrero, 1999), an art teacher can attend to knowledge in the collective by connecting, contrasting, emphasizing, and feeding insights back into the collective about what the topography of the collective’s possibility landscape looks like. It is a type of context-sensitive constraint, one where certain interpretive possibilities are fed back into the collective knowing system for further elaboration. The act of feeding back into the collective knowledge system is not one that is unbiased. Art teachers embody subjectivities (Grauer, 2007), an embodied history of structural changes. This plays a critical role in shaping a possibility landscape of the collective knowledge system. What a teacher points out, what connections are emphasized, what spaces and prompts are designed and enacted, are all from a specific interpretive frame. It is important not to apologize for this subjectivity, but rather understand that we are complicit in the shape of a collective’s knowledge system landscape of possibility. A landscape of possibilities in art curricula is a space of emergent possibilities. It is enacted through inquiry in art. Context-sensitive constraints enable the emergence of new patterns of coherence; in other words, they re-sculpt the contours of interpretive frames in a space of knowing. A collective of knowers inquiring and interacting in dynamic, rich, nonlinear ways gives rise to an interdependent knowledge system. The activity of individual artistic inquiry, through interconnections that constitute decentralized and recursively elaborative feedback loops, gives rise to a dynamic system of collective knowledge. Art teachers can act through the design of art curricula that enacts contextsensitive constraints, to enable inquiry into prior actualities to shape new possibilities. Art teachers can also act in between individuals and the collective knowledge system when they act as a consciousness by pointing out spaces for new interpretive possibilities. My role in teaching art, in this study, was an attitude of attending to, pointing out, connecting, and sculpting a landscape of possibility.  61  SUMMARY In Chapter 2, I presented art curricular and pedagogical possibilities for inquiry through new and social media. Specifically, I described the qualities of certain contemporary new media artworks and their use of relational spaces to extend the knowing body. This is a way to conceptualize curricular and pedagogical possibilities for art education and new media. Responding to Sweeny’s (2008) questions for art education and complexity, I developed the understandings of knowing through new media and the reshaping of relational spaces through complexity thinking. Complexity thinking not only provides a way of conceptualizing designs for art curricula and enactments of pedagogies in art, but also articulates the epistemology of this dissertation. This is important when entering into discussions of methodology. In Chapter 5 I examine the many types of constraints used in this study, how they were enacted, my own subjectivity, and the emergence of a collective knowing and knowledge system. In the next chapter I present a description of the design-based methodology used in this research study.  62  CHAPTER 4: DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH In this chapter I outline the methodology used in this study. Specifically, I state why I have chosen design-based research (DBR), define how it is used in this study, trace some of its history, and explore its epistemological tensions with complexity thinking. I describe the procedures of this DBR study. I then describe the sites of this research, both online and offline, and why they were chosen. I also introduce the participants of this study. I conclude the chapter with a description of data collection techniques, ethical considerations, and an analytical framework for interpreting the collected data.  WHY DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH? DBR was chosen to inquire into learning at the intersection of a contemporary new media art-inspired art curricula and pedagogy, complexity thinking in art education, and new and social media. This involved the conceptualization, theorization, and design of an inquiry-based art curriculum and pedagogical approach, enacted through new and social media. What makes DBR important to this study is that methodologies such as participatory action research and virtual ethnography did not provide a way to address the use of an educational design—although their traditions and methods were drawn upon. For example, DBR and participatory action research share the characteristic of collaboration between researchers and participants. Participatory action research is about examining local context and practice systematically to improve both theory and practice (Macintyre, 2000). However, DBR differs from participatory action research in that it researches a designed learning innovation. Whereas some participatory action research aims to improve local practice through participant-led research, DBR aims to do so through the introduction of designed innovations (Wang & Hannafin, 2005). Design innovations for education are refined jointly with and through participant practice. For example, these innovations can take the form of a curriculum, pedagogical strategy, or learning technology. Ethnography, the writing of a culture, is also drawn from and used in this study. Alone, it cannot account for the scope of a researcher’s intervention in the form of an educational innovation. Where ethnography is useful in this study is in its acknowledgement that any writing of a culture is a collaborative effort (Lassiter, 2005). The actions and descriptions  63  of an ethnographer, and for that matter any researcher, become a part of a larger system of relations in which knowledge is created. DBR is important for this study because as a research methodology, it attempts to support theories of learning stemming from “active innovation and intervention in classrooms” (Kelly, 2003, p. 3). This differs from educational research methodologies centered on “confirmation (e.g., those that apply grammars such as Fisher’s randomized trials to educational variables with measurable variance)” and “dialects (particularly those influenced by the grammar of ethnography) that support rich descriptions that illuminate arguments about processes” (Kelly, p.3). Kelly (2003) articulated that grammar of DBR is instead “generative and transformative. It is directed primarily at understanding learning and teaching processes when the researcher is active as an educator” (p. 3). Joseph (2004) stated there are “three important, deeply intertwined goals for design-based research projects—research, design, and pedagogical practice” (p. 235). Researchers who employ a DBR methodology want to learn more about learning through specific design innovations in education. These articulations of DBR make it a good fit for a research study such as this one, which involved a designed curricula and enactment of a pedagogy in response to and with participants through new and social media.  DEFINING DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH IN THIS STUDY DBR was born out of a need to understand both learning and how innovations could be developed from those understandings. There have been many definitions of DBR as it is taken up in a variety of research paradigms, from cognitive science (Sandoval & Bell, 2004) to medical education (Dornan, Hadfield, Brown, Boshuizen, & Scherpbier, 2005). It has been described as design research (Edelson, 2002), design experiments (Collins, 1992), development research (van der Akker, 1999), developmental research (Richey, Klein, Nelson, 2003), and formative research (Reigeluth & Frick, 1999). All variations share common characteristics of designing, implementing, and theorizing educational innovations. The following is a discussion of the characteristics of DBR that are highlighted for use in this study. There are some omissions and modifications here, which will be addressed in the section below which is titled Epistemological Tensions. The characteristics of DBR that are emphasized here are described as interventionist, theory-driven, pragmatic, contextual, iterative, collaborative, and integrative (Barab & Squire, 2004; Barab, 64  Thomas, Dodge, Squire, & Newell, 2004; Design-Based Research Collective, 2003; Collins, Joseph, & Bielaczyc, 2004; Edelson, 2002; Wang & Hannafin, 2005). As an interventionist process, it seeks to enact theories of learning as an in-between space, which is neither schooling nor outside of schooling. As a theory-driven methodology, DBR seeks to refine theoretical claims and insights through analysis and interpretation of the collected data. As a pragmatic methodology, it values useful contributions to theory and practice. The design of the curricula, pedagogies, or technological interface are woven into the contexts, or real-world settings with the researcher as co-participant. DBR, as an iterative process, is enacted as series of feedback loops. Curricula and pedagogical practices are enacted. Ethnographic observations are reflected upon. Participant feedback and responses are analyzed, and modifications are made in the next iteration. Rather than functioning as an extended analysis, iteration is an act of reresearching conjectures of learning (Confrey & Lachance, 2000; Sandoval, 2004). As an integrative process, it utilizes methods from many traditions of research, such as virtual ethnography or action research, to create robust and rich descriptions for analysis and interpretation. As a collaborative process, it seeks to gain insights into the designed and enacted innovation from the perspective of participants. These methodological adaptations are a way to address certain epistemological tensions in DBR as it is enacted within a complexity-thinking framework. I now trace a brief history of DBR and a few examples of it in action. I want to point out that although terms such as reliable, transferable, and repeatable are often used in the description of DBR’s history and enactment, they do not reflect the epistemology of this dissertation. This brief history and account of DBR in educational research is a way of providing a background to the source of these tensions when it is coupled with an epistemology of complexity thinking. HISTORIES OF DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH DBR emerged in the early 1990s alongside of and somewhat through the development of the field called the learning sciences. The learning sciences were an offshoot of cognitive science, as a response to “neat” laboratory research (Kolodner, 2004). Ann Brown (1992), originally a clinical cognitive psychologist, described the need to leave the laboratory, with methodology in hand, to address the complexities of learning in the real world. Brown (1992) described her methodological goal as one of engineering design experiments which “work toward a theoretical model of learning and instruction rooted in 65  a firm empirical base” (p. 143). She wished to “engineer interventions that not only work by recognizable standards, but are also based on theoretical descriptions that delineate why they work, and thus render them reliable and repeatable” (Brown, 1992, p. 143). Working concurrently, Collins (1992) designed experiments that were modeled after the fields of artificial intelligence and aeronautics design. As laboratory methodology was moved into the field, there was a hope to come closer to articulating a theory of learning that was accurate to real-world contexts. As design experiments, ranging from curricular interventions to digital technological interfaces, were situated in the field it was believed that more accurate, reliable and transferable theories of learning could be described. Transferring and adapting the traditions of laboratory-based experimentation, researchers in the learning sciences believed that it had a methodology to support the intertwining of biological/neurological brain research, informal/situated learning, and formal learning (Sawyer, 2006). As taken up and developed by the learning sciences, DBR can be said, then, to engineer innovations that hold specific theories in teaching and learning and in turn, to further refine those theories of learning. ENACTMENTS OF DESIGN-BASED REARCH I will now summarize three enactments of DBR: one that was a designed curriculum, a second that was a curriculum and online multi-user game, and a third that was an online art teacher professional development project. All three offer examples of the different ways that similar characteristics of DBR can be enacted. What is important here is how the epistemological position is enacted in the design and research. Joseph (2004) described a DBR study titled The Passion School Project, in which the learning environment was organized by students’ interests rather than by their ages. Theories of learning enacted in her design included goal-based scenarios (GBS) and cognitive apprenticeship. Joseph (2004) defined GBS as a curricular model that places learner goals at the center of a design, and used cognitive apprenticeship as a way to create a socially supportive learning environment. The researchers chose the theme of flight for the curriculum, something the researchers believed would be interesting, to teach students in an urban summer education program. Joseph reported that the initial results were disappointing due to the lack of student engagement with the theme. Through analysis conducted after the enacted curriculum, the research team decided to choose a theme that was relevant to the participants. On the next iteration, Joseph and her team observed the participants beforehand to get a sense of what their interests 66  were. In addition, instead of running a curriculum that was a series of short lessons, the team implemented a seven-week extended inquiry. Joseph concluded that design-based researchers operate and act with conjecture. Learning designs—curricula, pedagogies, and learning technologies—all embody conjectures of learning (Sandoval, 2004). Joseph (2004) stated that in some research paradigms, the proper role for research would be to tease out the power and relative weights of these factors in causing the phenomenon of interest. In design research, we have another option—to treat all of these paths as simultaneously productive for design. (p. 237) In other words, the way that Joseph addressed the design research was to develop tentative conjectures to inquire into the next iteration. Analysis is embodied in the iteration. In another example of DBR, Barab, Thomas, Dodge, Carteaux, and Tuzun (2005) designed a multi-user virtual environment named Quest Atlantis. The curriculum included activities such as contributing narratives, ideas, and information about the virtual citizens of Atlantis. It was designed to engage students in learning about science and social studies, and to foster an overall enthusiasm for learning in school. The design embodied Vygotsky’s (1978) theories as they pertain to learning, specifically those around learning and play (Barab et al., 2005). Also considered in the design was the possibility of students creating social change as they became emotionally involved in the game's narrative. It was hoped that students would transfer affective social engagement with the narrative of a city in peril, into the students’ own local environments. The goal of Barab et al. in using DBR was to develop theory in practice, to “lead to interventions that are trustworthy, credible, transferable, and ecologically valid” (p. 92). They went on to state that “[o]ne no longer simply designs an artifact to deliver predefined content or to support a process in which the final product is already known” (ibid.). It is in a process of iteration that DBR, as conceptualized by Barab et al., is socially responsive. It supports change in one specific context as embodied in the educational design. This design is then taken and integrated into other contexts. DESIGN-BASED RESEARCH IN ART EDUCATION Art education researchers are also beginning to employ design-based research. One example is a study of secondary art teachers using an online environment to teach for transfer in the complexities of online and offline art education (Erickson, 2005). Mary Lou 67  Erickson (2005) defined transfer as “what happens when learners are able to recall information and use it appropriately in new situations” (p. 170). Closely following a definition of DBR as articulated by The Design-Based Research Collective (2003), Erickson (2005) described her goals as “the design of a learning environment that integrates online and traditional instruction and the identification of research issues to guide the refinement and elaboration of transfer theory” (p. 171). The project was an online curriculum that was designed to meet the needs of a variety of art learning contexts. Called Who Cares for Art?, the curriculum was centered around Luis Jimenez's public sculpture titled The Southwest Pieta (Erickson, 2005). There were four lesson activities. The first activity was called the Treasure Box Track. It asked students to transfer what they had learned about the theme by applying it to a personalized treasure box. The second activity was called The Inquiry Track. It asked students to transfer what they had learned through the online curriculum by writing a term paper on an artwork of their choosing. The third activity was less intensive, and was called My Viewpoint Track. This activity asked students to “reach their own conclusions about Luis Jimenez's Southwest Pieta” (Erickson, 2005, p. 173). The fourth activity called The Studio Track, asked students to “reflect on their previous art-making experience (ibid.). The design and research was over a three-year time span during which the teachers pre- and posttested the design to assess student learning and transfer of concepts and themes. To optimize student learning, it was further refined each school year. Erickson admitted that although the instructional design was optimized and improved with each iteration, the research “raises more questions than answers” (p. 182). This is a salient characteristic of DBR. Whether at the scale of weekly cycles or of yearly cycles, DBR refines insights while also raising new questions. The epistemology that underlies each of the DBR studies discussed above is characterized by a particular attitude towards knowledge, which implicated a theory of learning. Understandings of learning as “taking things in” and as the ability to transfer that knowledge in a new context are epistemologically aligned with DBR as just described. Yet, when DBR is used through a complexity-thinking based understanding of knowing and learning, all sorts of tensions arise. I address these below.  EPISTEMOLOGICAL TENSIONS The epistemological beliefs enacted by researchers strongly influence what is considered a design in DBR. Terms such as: reliability, transferability, repeatability, generalizability, and accuracy all point towards an epistemology that shapes many 68  enactments of DBR. However, there is no consensus on the epistemology of educational research in DBR (Dede, 2004). This has led to a crisis in DBR, of what is and is not considered knowledge. Rourke and Friesen (2006) contended that most DBR straddles positivist/post-positivist and interpretive research paradigms. They highlighted the tension that, in most enactments of DBR, comes from the learning sciences, pointing out that “learning and education are inescapably interpretive activities that can only be configured rhetorically rather than substantially as a science” (Rourke and Friesen, 2006, p. 271). Dede (2004) would probably have placed Rourke and Friesen at one end of the epistemological spectrum, towards an inter-subjective position. An inter-subjective position is one that treats reality as something that is co-constructed in discourse and interpretation. It contrasts with scientific objectivism and positivism. Dede described how this could be enacted in two possible DBR research studies. ...those who lean toward an objectivist point of view tend to prepare DBR participants to function like astronauts: trained to execute detailed contingency plans that pre-specify responses to various situations that may emerge in implementation. In contrast, investigators inclined towards subjectivism see specific individual and social factors overwhelming the contingency plans of a standardized curriculum, instruction, and management strategies, instead preparing DBR participants to function like physicians who can invent as needed (p. 110- 111) Issues of epistemology are important to any methodology in qualitative educational research (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). In Chapters 2 and 3, I have outlined my epistemological position through a theorization of knowing through new media and complexity. These theorizations of knowing and knowledge are key to this study’s enactment of DBR. RESPONDING TO THOSE TENSIONS Epistemology is a theory of knowledge: its characteristics and qualities. Instead of understanding knowledge as subjective, objective, or inter-subjective interpretive frames, complexity thinking understands it from an inter-objective one. This is an attitude enacted in research that “is not just about the object, not just about the student, and not just about social agreement. It is about holding all of these dynamic, co-specifying, conversational relationships while locating them in a grander, more than human  69  context” (Davis & Sumara, 2006, p. 15). It is considered to be a kind of hybrid of intersubjectivity and objectivity (Davis & Sumara, 2006). In an inter-objectivity epistemology, there is no such thing as knowledge “out there,” or knower-independent knowledge. There are no observer-less observations, or measurements without a measurer. Our descriptions of ourselves as researchers, of ourselves in the world, and of the world itself operate in a linguistic domain that is also a part of our world. Maturana and Varela (1992) stated: the linguistic domain becomes part of the environment in which linguistic coordinations take place, and language appears to an observer as a domain of descriptions of descriptions. But what an observer does is precisely this: he makes linguistic distinctions of linguistic distinctions, or what another observer would say are ontogenically generated descriptions of descriptions. (p. 211) As humans, we do not exist outside of language and the language of our distinctions, because perceived phenomena and our knowledge of those phenomena shape the phenomena as our descriptions of our distinctions change. Simply, our descriptions are a part of the world and they change the world while shaping our perceptions (Davis, 2004). Varela (1999) stated that “local situations will constantly change as a result of the perceiver's activity” (p. 12). This places the descriptions of the perceiver as shaping a perceived, not as an act of describing and recovering a world already out there, but as dynamically implicated in the dynamics of a world. In other words, our perceptually guided actions and descriptions shape a world through our being in a more-than-human world. What happens is that as our descriptions change, our actions change, and as a result, so does our world. The understandings of knowing, knowledge, learning, and teaching represented thus far shape an epistemology of this DBR study. They are reflected in how this DBR is defined by shifting words such as “testing” to “inquiry,” from “transfer” to “co-specified,” and from “verifications” to “descriptions” and “interpretations.” DBR does have much to offer as a methodology for complexity-thinking research. This is implied by Kelly in his (2003) introduction to the special issue on DBR in Educational Researcher: Educational researchers use the tools of science to construct a professional language within the field of education. They use this language to generate distinctions and descriptions for the system. The distinction and descriptions themselves and interventions designed from them make the system’s actions 70  relevant to its own evolution and improvement (cf. Maturana & Varela, 1987). (p. 3) Complexity thinking “compels researchers to consider how they are implicated in the phenomena that they study and, more broadly, to acknowledge that their descriptions of the world exist in complex (i.e., nested, co-implicated, ambiguously bounded, dynamic, etc.) relationship with the world” (Davis & Sumara, 2006, p. 15). Methodologies that fold in the messiness of context and a researcher’s interventions, through descriptions, complement complexity thinking (Phelps & Hase, 2002; Sumara & Davis, 1997). Again, complexity thinking’s “principal orienting question is neither the fact seeking ‘What is?’ nor the interpretation-seeking ‘What might be?’, but the practice-oriented ‘How should we act?’” (Davis & Sumara, 2006, p. 25). It is this research attitude that is echoed in Kelly’s (2003) statement above; as educational researchers, we are aware that our descriptions and actions are complicit in the knowledge that is enacted. About this, Barab and Squire (2004) stated that “Design-based researchers are not simply observing interactions but are actually ‘causing’ the very same interactions they are making claims about” (p. 9). This is where DBR’s contributions to complexity thinking play out, from the inter-subjective to inter-objective as we consider the range of phenomena implicated in research. In this study, for example, it was not just a design intervention of a curriculum and pedagogy of relations; it was also an interrelationship with a knowledge system, through new and social media, where DBR became most useful. Its utility resides in its capacity to address individuals, context, curriculum, pedagogy, and technology as it related to the inquiry around a particular design innovation. I now describe the particular procedures of how this conception of DBR was enacted in this study.  OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES I account for the procedures in this study not to suggest that a perfect replication of this study could be enacted; rather, I do it to make clear my own subjectivities and processes. This is not only my reflexive positioning as a researcher, but also as a teacher and artist. Doing this has value because it is a way of understanding a complex contemporary new media art curricula and pedagogy. This also provides a distinction between my own pedagogy and the pedagogy that occurred between the design, participants, social network, images, dialogues, and knowledge system.  71  INTERVENTIONIST DBR is an interventionist research methodology. The roots of the word intervene come from the Latin intervenire, meaning ‘come between.’ This characteristic of DBR is conceptualized here as Wilson’s (2008a) third-site pedagogy which is neither outside of school nor inside, but somewhere in-between. This conceptualization is quite appropriate for a social network site to enact a complex contemporary new media art curricula and pedagogy. The constraints that enabled—questions, prompts, and media— all pointed towards the margins of schooling, asking participants to look closely at the world around them and at the interpretive frames they enacted to engage in their worlds. Drawing from Juarrero’s (1999) conception of context-sensitive constraints, I surmised that some direction was needed for inquiry—especially in the beginning of the curriculum. A curriculum with no beginning for inquiry could result in little action or meaning (Juarrero, 1999). THEORY DRIVEN The roots of the word theory come from the Greek, theōros, meaning “spectator”. The word spectator, comes from the Latin, spectare, meaning “gaze at, observe”. Theory frames interrelationships to create understanding through attention and observation. It shaped how the curriculum was conceptualized and pedagogy was enacted. Specifically, complexity thinking and the relational qualities of contemporary new media art informed this curriculum and my pedagogy. These understandings shaped this research, from the methodology, to how the curriculum was enacted, to data analysis. PRAGMATIC The word pragmatic comes from the Greek pragma, meaning “deed”, which comes from an Indo-European root shared by “do”. Here, being pragmatic is considered effective action. Throughout this research I paid attention was paid to what was pragmatic and what was not; this guided decisions of curriculum, pedagogy, and data collection. It asked: How can we act? This characteristic will also frame whether or not this research is of value to the classroom teacher or researcher: Does it offer insights to effective action for pedagogy, curriculum, and research? CONTEXTUAL The word context comes from the Latin contextus, meaning “weave together”. Context creates meaning through the weaving together of many strands. In this research, the sites, time of year, and participants’ backgrounds were all part of the context of this 72  study. Context was considered in the analysis and also in the curriculum. In the curriculum, constraints were context-sensitive, meaning that questions and prompts depended on participants’ local knowledge and inquiry. In the analysis, I considered situations that affected participation. For example, when many of the students were on an extended field trip for a week, participation on the site declined. ITERATIVE The word iterative comes from the Latin iterare, meaning “to repeat”. The word repeat comes from the Latin repetere, meaning “seek back”. Iteration here is used as part of the curriculum, to recursively elaborate from previous participant dialogues and artistic inquiry. It “seeks back” to the knowledge represented on the social network site. Some DBR researchers contend that to be iterative, projects should be repeated over many contexts (Collective, 2003), while others enact DBR at the scale of shorter, singlecase instances (Dornan, Hadfield, Brown, Boshuizen, & Scherpbier, 2005). In this study, the iterative process was enacted in the weekly projects. I had some ideas for the shape of the curricula to begin our study; however, I deliberately refrained from planning a detailed trajectory. Each week, as researcher, educator, and co-participant/artist, I adapted the curriculum and my pedagogy based on the emergent themes and ideas represented in participant dialogues and images. Even the weekly media clips from the film Euphoria were edited particularly for each week, based on the collective interests. COLLABORATIVE The word collaborate comes from the Latin, collaborare, meaning “to work together”. The curriculum and my own pedagogies were shaped through my interaction with participants. In interviews, I would ask how we could make this site better for both teacher and student participants. I attempted to be someone who would meet their needs and incorporate them into the design of the site and curriculum. For example, one of the student participants, responding to the overwhelming number of images being posted, asked if we could start organizing them into albums. This feature was incorporated into the site’s design and became an inspiration for a weekly prompt (see Chapter 5, Week 7). INTEGRATIVE The word integrate comes from the Latin, integrat-, meaning “made whole”. As a methodology, DBR integrates methods to create rich descriptions of the curriculum, 73  pedagogy, and learning in this study. Methods of case study (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003), image-based research (Prosser, 1998), action research (Phelps, & Hase, 2002; Sumara & Davis, 1997), collaborative ethnography (Lassiter, 2005), and virtual ethnography (Hine, 2000; Lyman, & Wakeford, 1999; Markham,1998) are considered. CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY DESIGN AND ITERATIVE ANALYSIS The design goals of this study were to theorize and enact, through a social media interface, an inquiry-based art curricula and pedagogy as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art and complexity thinking. This DBR exploratory study focused on how this conception of curricula and pedagogy could be enacted through new and social media in a public school art learning environment. It was not a specific design of the social network interface used. The social network was designed simply to resemble a hybrid of many popular social network interfaces, in order to reference prior knowledge and provide a sense of familiarity for the participants. There were three phases to this design; they occurred over a period of 10 weeks. Each week and at the end of each phase I conducted an analysis based on my observational writing, reflections, participant dialogues and images, and whenever possible, on interaction with the participants through formal and informal interviews. The first phase, comprising four weeks, was focused primarily on reshaping relations with ideas about happiness in our culture and personal lives. I chose this theme because it offered a space to consider a commonly held desire of most people—to be happy—as a beginning for examining individual relations with the world as developed through digital photography and video. Two kinds of context-sensitive constraints were used as a beginning for inquiry. First were the weekly prompts, which were presented to participants at the beginning of each week. Second was the use of the art/documentary film Euphoria (Boot, 2008) in Weeks 1 through 4 as part of the weekly projects. Euphoria was used as a thematic catalyst to begin the curricular inquiry because research has shown that adolescents engaged in new media practice produce works in response to other new media productions as a way of learning (Jenkins et al., 2007). It was also chosen because the film itself embodies themes and ideas already described, such as feedback, meaning-making, and engagement. In addition, the film was chosen because its creators intended to make a film that would not provide all the answers; rather, it provides a space for further discussion, elaboration, and relation. The open-ended quality of richly conceptualized visual metaphors served as a constraint, coupled with the 74  weekly prompt that enabled a space to inquire, through art, ideas about self, happiness, culture, family, and social relationships. Although the Week 1 project was pre-designed, the following weeks explicitly incorporated the knowledge produced from participants’ prior responses and dialogues into the next inquiry project. This was the iterative process of this DBR enacted. A design analysis was used throughout to continually update the curriculum, social network, and my own pedagogy. I attempted to realize an adaptive and responsive pedagogy by enacting a teacher-as-consciousness theorization (Davis, 2004). With permission from the film-makers, the Euphoria film clips were edited to complement the weekly prompt. The curriculum and pedagogy were designed to be adaptive to the knowledge that resulted from the participants’ weekly artistic inquiry. This reflects a relational and complex curricula and pedagogy that not only occasion a reshaping of relations with individuals through inquiry, but is relational and adaptive to the knowing and learning collective. Drawing from Joseph’s (2004) cautionary tale of curricula that do not provoke interest, I analyzed participant interest and response to determine each iterative step from week to week. I had conjectured that if the weekly prompts and video clips reflected the evolving dialogue of the participants, there might be more engagement. As I describe in Chapter 5, by Week 4 interest in the film had waned. Although I had developed, in consultation with the teachers, a Week 5 inquiry iteration that would have stayed with the film, we decided to move onto the next phase. It should be noted that further research into voluntary online communities changed my understandings of participation online. Although this study did not include a statistical analysis, my journal observations noted fluctuating participation rates. The second phase shifted towards the collective knowledge. The collective knowledge system was represented in the continually evolving and growing dialogues and images that were produced through artistic inquiry. Specifically, the curriculum and pedagogy asked for engagement and further artistic inquiry into the system of ideas that was represented on the social network. Weeks 5 through 7 posed designed constraints focused on inquiry that explicitly attended to each other’s images and ideas. It was conceptualized as a group of artists, through new and social media, sharing local interpretations through art, interacting, and being influenced by each other’s local interpretations. The aggregation of represented knowledge produced and represented in 75  our collective images and texts gave rise to broader themes; these, in turn, shaped our local interpretations. The third phase, which lasted two weeks, emphasized an extended individual artistic inquiry into the experience of inquiring with and through a collective of knowers. This dissertation’s sections on data collection and analysis offer further description on the specific methodologies drawn from and data that was used in this study. The study’s design and the subsequent insights for knowing, learning, and teaching art through new and social media are also described, analyzed, and interpreted in Chapter 5.  SITES OF RESEARCH I now describe the sites of research that were involved in this study. This requires a definition of those ethnographic understandings for dealing with site in online and offline research. What is used is a networked or connectionist approach—one that treats site as a field of relations (Leander & McKim, 2003; Olwig & Hastrup, 1997). Both the online and offline sites are described, and as is the reasoning for their inclusion in this study. The word site comes from the Latin situs, meaning “local position”. Describing the local position of a material research site, such as a classroom, school, or community, is relatively straightforward compared to addressing the site of online research. In online research, this prompts a reconsideration of what is considered site or place in writing a culture. Leander and McKim (2003) strategically adapted the traditional ethnographic notion of site, as a fixed geographic location, to research on the Internet. They drew from Olwig and Hastrup’s (1997) conceptualization of site as a field of relations. This flexible adaptation is characterized by the relationships, connections, and flows of action between locations and actors. In Internet research, site is more constructed by researchers’ descriptions than it is discovered. This reflexivity provides “space for the emergence and creation of new metaphors and linkages, which may lead to new methodological insights” (Lyman & Wakeford, 1999, p. 360). If we understand sites in Internet research as fields of relationships, then how has this phenomena reshaped notions of identity (actors) and action? Leander and McKim (2003) contended that a major challenge of ethnographic research online is that the authenticity of identities cannot be confirmed. Paccagnella (1997) argued that interactions that he could verify through the ethnographic processes of engagement and immersion were authentic. Hine (2000) countered that this could create 76  an unnecessary boundary of online and offline practices. Turkle (1995), in Life on the Screen, felt compelled to verify all virtual interactions with off-line interviews as a way of triangulating (Denzin, 1989) her findings. However, Lyman and Wakeford (1999) countered that “one must account multiple identities where they are presented to the researcher and to resist the temptation to adjudicate between them by using the real world as a final arbiter” (p. 363). They went on to assert an alternative method to “locate the discussion of this concept in an examination of the identity of the researcher and in the relationships of the researcher to the field of study” (Lyman & Wakeford, 1999, p. 364). Leander and McKim (2003) suggested a connectionist approach to ethnography that examines online and offline worlds. This pays attention to place, space, and embodied experience by tracing activity through these time-space constructs (see Chapter 3 for a review of how space, place, time and identity are treated in this dissertation). One of the unexpected challenges of this research was the fluidity of identity between offline and online sites. This “culture of knowers and learners” was ethnographically written in a way that was less concerned with verifying authenticity than with the patterns of activity created by participants. Patterns of activity formed coherences created through my interpretive frame and writing. These patterns were not only limited to singular identities, but were also the characteristic qualities of an identity of our collective. SITES OF THE MATERIAL AND DIGITAL VIRTUAL This study located the participants and place of this study in a visual arts department, within a comprehensive public secondary school. This was done as a way to understand contexts for using new and social media in schools, as a third-space pedagogy (Wilson, 2008a). Explored throughout this dissertation, engagement with new and social media are considered as rooted in and through the body. There have been many excellent studies on teenage cultural practices in online environments and personal spaces; this study seeks to extend these research projects to include the art classroom (boyd & Ellison, 2007; de Boor & Halpern, 2007; Ito et al., 2008). VANCOUVER As a researcher whose educational experiences are rooted in the American educational system, I must emphasize that this study occurred in Canada. Many Americans assume that most Canadians mirror what happens in the United States. This is a deeply 77  problematic assumption that many Americans, myself included, retain about Canada, especially when it comes to education. Canadian schools are familiar, but this is deceptive—in fact, they differ in important respects. For example, Canada for the most part, has not embraced a high-stakes testing culture like the one brought about by No Child Left Behind Act in the United States. However, given the British Columbia Teachers Federation's stance against the Foundation Skills Assessment procedure that is used by the Fraser Institute to rank schools, this may change (Ross, 2009). PINE SCHOOL DISTRICT This study was conducted in the city of Alder (a pseudonym) in the Greater Lower Mainland–the area in southern British Columbia around the city of Vancouver. The following description comes from the latest Statistics Canada census data (Statistics Canada, 2006) available at the time of writing this paper. The city of Alder is home to more than 185,000 people in a mixed rural, urban, suburban environment outside of Vancouver. It has seen a significant change in its landscape, which has shifted from rural to urban/suburban. Immigrants comprise more than 57% percent of Alder’s population, which is the highest proportion in Canada. Of those who are immigrants, more than 80% are from Asia or the Middle East. A little over half of the entire population speaks English as their first language at home. Overall, Alder residents identify more than 125 ethnic or cultural origins. The most commonly reported ethnic origin in Alder is Chinese, who comprise 45% of the total population. Following Chinese, the most commonly reported ethnic origins are, in descending order: English, Scottish, Canadian, East Indian, Irish, German, Filipino, French, Ukrainian, and Japanese. The Pine School District (pseudonym) has 10 secondary schools spread over a 130-km2 area. According to the school district Web site, the district has a graduation rate that is the highest in British Columbia and it supports a variety of school programs outside of core subject areas. The Pine School District has also made a concerted effort to improve technology support and services, such as by providing wireless access throughout all of its secondary schools. One of the reasons the Pine District was chosen for this study was its relative support of research and technology in schools. OAK SECONDARY Oak Secondary (pseudonym) is one of the 10 secondary schools in the Pine District; at the time of this writing, its student population is 900. It has Grades 8 through 12 and offers a mini-school as well as culinary arts, automotive, and carpentry programs. Oak 78  offers wireless Internet connectivity and at least one computer per classroom, including art classrooms. Oak Secondary’s art department offers introductory art courses by grade level. There are also media-specific courses offered in photography, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Oak Secondary does not offer courses in new media such as digital video, Web design, or computer animation. During the period of this study, each of the three art classrooms had at least one computer with Internet access. Adjoining the department chair’s art classroom was a multi-use space which was used as a studio by photography students and advanced-level art students. In this space there were four computers connected to the Internet. Although the school site itself would support the technological needs of this study, it was observed and noted in interviews that all participants used their personal home computers to participate on the study’s social network. In the 2006-07 academic year, Oak Secondary's art department began offering the Advanced Placement (AP) 2-D Design Portfolio Exam to students in Grade 12. The two art teachers at that time, Mary Lou and stormy (Mary Lou was a pseudonyms chosen by participants; stormy’s lowercase name was self-chosen), indicated that this was their first experience teaching the AP portfolio exam. Prior to this study, I was initially invited to mentor Grade 12 students taking the AP because of my experience teaching AP art courses in the United States. I chose Oak Secondary for this research because there was an already established relationship of trust; because the Pine District demonstrates support for research and technology; and because there was clearly an interest on the part of teachers to learn more about new media and other contemporary curricular approaches. As DBR is collaborative and pragmatic, there has to be at least a tacit need on the part of the research co-participants for an educational innovation in their art classrooms. NEW AND SOCIAL MEDIA AT OAK SECONDARY At Oak Secondary, students referred to using Facebook on many occasions. They talked with each other about having a parent looking over their shoulder at what they were doing online at home. They discussed the posting and production of digital photographs and videos. Some students carried their laptops in duffel bags and shared sites together, while some got on school computers to log onto Facebook. Others were observed texting with their mobile phones. There were even times when students would re-enact scenes from YouTube videos for each other. Throughout the course of a school day, 79  students were referencing and interacting with new and social media. Consistent with research by Ito et al. (2008), much of the activity was centered on friendship-driven practices. Some students, especially those taking the AP exams, used Flickr and Facebook to share recent artworks with their teachers and fellow AP students. For them, social networks also acted as portfolio system for traveling between school and home, unencumbered with the physical weight of their artworks. SCHOOL POLICY ON THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA I observed that student and teacher use of social media was common throughout the school. What was not obvious was the school’s policy on the use of social media. The participating teachers were comfortable with social networking and saw the advantages of using it in their art classrooms. They also described a discomfort on the part of other teachers with their use of social networks like Facebook. The Pine School District is one of few in the Vancouver area to not block sites like Facebook and YouTube. However, at the time of the study, the principal of Oak Secondary had instituted a rule prohibiting students from using Facebook on any of the school computers. This left regulation, surveillance, and discipline to the teachers. There was no stated policy on social media sites like YouTube. The teacher participants in this study all had an aptitude and sympathy for new and social media in the art classroom. Participant teachers stormy and Mary Lou used Facebook to start closed (in other words, by invitation only) groups where they posted assignments and announcements and where students could post their artworks. They also looked to YouTube for readily available resources for teaching materials and processes. Access to free instructional videos was an attraction for both Mary Lou and stormy. SOCIAL NETWORK SITE- NMSNAE New Media & Social Networking in Art Education (NMSNAE) was the name of our online community (Figure 4.1). It was a password-protected, invitation-only, social networking site using the open-source Elgg platform. Social networks are a vital application in the broader social media ecology. boyd and Ellison (2007) defined social networking sites as as Web sites that allow users to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3)  80  view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. (¶ 4) Social networks offer participants a place to post digital photographs and videos, post blogs, send messages, chat, and initiate discussions. What distinguishes most social networks from more traditional Web sites is that the content—texts and images—is created or contributed by users themselves. NMSNAE was custom designed to resemble many of the social network interfaces that participants were familiar with, such as Facebook. This was to ensure that the online social network interface would feel familiar and be easy to use. The purpose of this research was not to design and research a specific social network design; rather, it was to research the use of something familiar in a different context for different purposes. Participants were able to post images and videos, create a user profile, start and maintain a blog, and post to forums, all through a main page that summarized activity on the site. The site was password-protected and to protect the confidentiality of research participants, the only users allowed into the social network were those who had been approved by me.  81  Main  My Page  Members Each participant could post a profile image that was a visual metaphor of her- or himself (See Appendix C for profile images and pseudonyms of participants). Additionally, all participants had pages of their own which aggregated all of their activity on the site. They also had a wall and the space to write a personal blog.  Recent Activity This section of the Main Page chronicles the latest actions taken by participants. For example if someone had recently posted a photo, written a blog, or commented on a discussion, that activity would be listed here. Each activity would be linked to the activity listed. Almost all participants reported that this feature oriented them when logging on as to where to go first.  Photos  Videos  Forums  Forum The forum section was where participants could start and engage in discussions. This was also the area where I posted weekly projects and relevant resources on the site. Forum discussions differ from blog posts because they are often less about personal reflections or accounts and more about invitations for discussion and participation. Essentially you can engage in the same level of interaction through the ability to respond to a blog and a forum in the same manner, yet the implication is that forums are for discussions.  Photos Participants could upload digital photographs. On the main page, albums were set up to organize image responses to the weekly projects. Through the Photos page of the site, participants were able to browse images that were not designated as part of the projects, see recent posts, most popular or most viewed. There participants could also create their own albums to organize their own or others’ images.  Videos Although no participants uploaded video files, even after being invited to, I used video to respond to the weekly projects, to post tutorials on how to upload images and use the site, and to post the Weeks 1-4 Project Videos. The weekly project videos came from the film Euphoria, and were reproduced with permission of the creators.  Figure 4.1. New Media and Social Networking in Art Education (NMSNAE).  82  PARTICIPANT RECRUITMENT There were only two criteria that student participants had to meet in order to participate in this research study. The first was permission from their parents; second was the ability to access the Internet and a digital camera. Arrangements were made to provide for any students who did not have Internet access or a digital camera. This was offered in the consent/assent forms and in-person recruitment presentations of the project. All participants were able to access the Internet from home, and all had access to digital cameras. Three participants, Gaelan Knoll, Opti, and Jean Valjean, requested digital cameras, which were provided because the cameras they had access to belonged to either siblings or parents. All of the participants except William S. Maugham posted a visual metaphor that represented themselves in their profile images. Participants’ profile images were associated with all of their individual actions or postings throughout the social network. Some participants chose profile images that they used throughout the study, while others changed their profile images during the project. In addition to using visual images to represent themselves, as their profile, participants were asked to choose pseudonyms that could not be easily linked to their physical identities. In Appendix C the participants pseudonyms and profile images are listed. I created the pseudonym Mr. John Charles. All of the participants, including the teachers, had prior experience with social networks and all had used a digital camera and posted images online prior to this study. After the first round of interviews, I found that this group of teens and adults were using the Internet daily. Use of a computer or any other new or social media technology was an integral part of their daily lives. The student and teacher participants not only socialized online; they were also actively seeking information, support, and community around school-related subjects and their own interests. Overall, the student participants’ self-identified ethnic and cultural origins corresponded to the ethnic distribution of the city of Alder. This contrasted with the that of the teacher participants, who all identified themselves with Anglo-European backgrounds. Of the teacher participants, 3 self-identified their offline gender as female (Mary Lou, Lucy MaGee, and stormy); 1 self-identified as male (Rick O’Shay). Of the student participants, 13 self-identified their offline gender as female (Haine Walker, Mango Jello, Sophie Lee, Gaelan Knoll, Sunshine Ice, Pucchomochi, Ingrid DiCaprio, Kezia, Milo Fishie, and CUTE Bunny) and 7 self-identified their offline gender as male (William S. Maugham, Opti, Ricky Bobby, Jean Valjean, and John Freeman). 83  Though it was not asked in interviews, it was inferred from observation and the fact no participant expressed that they did not have access to the Internet nor a digital camera in their home that they came from at least a middle-income household. However, I make this statement with caution I am aware that Internet access at home is not an indicator of economic status. It was explicitly and repeatedly stated at recruitment and in the Teacher Consent, Parent Consent and Student Assent forms that Internet access (at school) and a digital camera (provided by me for loan) would be made available for those without access to either. TEACHER PARTICIPANTS There were 4 teacher participants involved in this study. Initially, I had intended this study to include two participating art teachers: stormy and Mary Lou. However, after the study was advertised and promoted, Rick O’Shay and Lucy MaGee expressed an enthusiastic interest in participating. The initial plan to include only 2 participating teachers was pragmatic, as stormy and Mary Lou had previously agreed to host this study at their school. After observing my interactions with her students, mentoring for the AP exam, and hearing about my own research interests, Mary Lou was the first teacher to express interest in hosting this study. For her, my research interests in new and social media, and contemporary new media art curricula represented an exciting possibility for her pedagogy and art department. Mary Lou was serving as the art department chair at Oak Secondary. Additionally, she was completing a Master’s degree in art education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) at the time of the study. This was where she first became aware of my Advanced Placement experience, and subsequently asked if I would mentor her students through the process. Mary Lou is an experienced art teacher who is also a practicing artist. Her fine art career is active and she exhibits her paintings throughout Canada. stormy, like Mary Lou, has many years of art teaching experience. She is also a practicing artist, exhibiting her paintings throughout the province and Canada. Lucy MaGee had a part-time appointment at Oak Secondary. It was her first year teaching at Oak. Previously she had been a Teacher On Call (TOC). TOCs are certified teachers who serve as substitutes in a school district. This was Lucy MaGee’s first long-term art teaching appointment, and her third year teaching. She, too, is a practicing artist, working primarily as a painter. Rick O’Shay was a pre-service art teacher and former student of mine at UBC. Rick is also a practicing fine-art photographer. 84  I had not initially planned to have Rick O’Shay as a part of the study; in fact, I was hesitant to consent to his joining the project because I did not want to take away from his practicum experience. However, after his enthusiastic request to join, and on consultation with his sponsor-teachers, stormy and Mary Lou, I invited him to participate. One of the concerns stated by the UBC Institutional Review Board, which approves the ethics of all research done through the university, was that this study should not alienate nor exclude anyone who wanted to participate. Because this study was about teachers and students working collaboratively throughout a school, the IRB made it explicit that no one should be arbitrarily excluded from this study. The addition of Lucy and Rick was also an opportunity to expand the range of participants, as this curriculum and social media space were being conceptualized as a third-space pedagogy where artists, teachers, and students would be inquiring together (Wilson, 2003, 2008a). STUDENT PARTICIPANTS There were 15 student participants. They came from Grades 9 through 12. In consultation with the teacher participants, it was decided that this should be a extracurricular project advertised through the art department to the entire school. The study was open to any student who was interested. The teachers and myself advertised the study in all of their art classes and in the after-school art club (named the Doodle Club). A 10-minute slide show outlining the project and a informational sheet were distributed. Additionally, Parent Consent and Student Assent forms were made available to any interested students. No Grade 8 students showed interest. Jean Valjean was the only Grade 9 student to participate. He came to the project through the Doodle Club, as he was not taking any art classes at the time. Haine Walker was the only Grade 10 student participating in the study. Although she self-identified an offline identity of female, she presented her online identity as male. I will refer to Haine Walker as he(she) throughout the remainder of this dissertation. This is done to represent this participant’s fluid identities across both online and offline contexts. Haine Walker was active in his(her) Grade 10 art class, and selfidentified as a student who puts an effort into everything he(she) does in art. He(she) also describes him(her)self as open to all types of media and styles in art. Haine Walker was also observed spending time after school working on art assignments and participating in the Doodle Club. Both Haine Walker and Jean Valjean were active participants throughout the study.  85  Grade 11 students made up the majority of student participants in this study. Mango Jello came to the study with a number of years of photography experience at Oak Secondary. At the time, she was not taking a course in the art department because photography was only being offered in the fall of that academic school year. Mango Jello had heard about the study from Mary Lou, her photography teacher. Sophie Lee, a close friend of Mango Jello, was in the same situation. She had had many years of photography experience and was not taking a course in the art department at the time. Mango Jello and Sophie Lee were active participants throughout the study. Gaelan Knoll was a very active art student at the time of this study. She was enrolled in two art courses, one with Mary Lou and one with stormy, and had helped to organize the Doodle Club. The Doodle Club was an after-school group that was offered for those students who wanted more time to work on their own art or to work collaboratively on art projects. It was an opportunity for students who were not currently enrolled in any art courses to engage in art making, in a community, with the mentorship of stormy. Like Haine Walker, Gaelan Knoll self-identified as female offline, while online identified as a male. I will refer, as I do with Haine Walker, to Gaelan Knoll as he(she). Opti, a close friend of Gaelan Knoll, was not enrolled in any art class at the time of this study. He was, however, active in the Doodle Club. Then in Grade 11, Opti had not taken an art course since Grade 9. Both Gaelan Knoll and Opti were active participants on the site throughout the study. Pucchomochi, Milo Fishie, Kezia, CUTE Bunny, and Ricky Bobby comprised the rest of the Grade 11 students participating in this study. Pucchomochi and Milo Fishie were not enrolled in any art courses at the time of this study. They were active members of the Doodle Club and described this as an opportunity to continue making art with their teachers. All of the participants who were not taking art courses at the time expressed that this was an opportunity to keep making art. The most commonly stated reason for not taking an art course was because there was no room in their schedules for art. Both Pucchomochi and Milo Fishie participated frequently at the beginning of the study, and gradually reduced their posting of comments and images. Kezia was also not taking an art course or participating in the Doodle Club. She was recruited by stormy, her former art teacher, with whom she kept in regular contact. Her participation was sporadic, posting and engaging in dialogue in short bursts.  86  CUTE Bunny was recruited by Lucy MaGee from one of her art classes. CUTE Bunny self-identified as being from Korea, and stated that her primary language was Korean. At the final interview she described her initial motivations for participating as a way to become better at observational drawing. Both Lucy MaGee and I were aware of this at the time of recruitment and communicated that she was welcome to post her drawings for feedback, but that there would not be specific instruction on the NMSNAE about improving observational drawing. CUTE Bunny participated for the first two weeks and then stopped participating, because as she indicated in interviews, she had misunderstood what the project was about due her limitations in English. Ricky Bobby was in one of Mary Lou’s art classes at the time of this study. His selfdescribed interest in the project was an opportunity to increase the breadth of his art portfolio. Ricky Bobby was clear that his academic goals were to attend a postsecondary fine arts college in the United States. Seeing this as an opportunity to work with a former secondary- and university-level art teacher, Ricky was most interested in my feedback for improving his portfolio. He posted responses to only one of the weekly projects, and the majority of works posted by Ricky were from his drawing portfolio. When he asked for specific feedback, I offered him my professional advice and mentorship. This was the extent of his participation in the study. William S. Maugham, Ingrid DiCaprio, Sunshine Ice, and John Freeman were the Grade 12 students involved in the project. Both William and Ingrid were enrolled in the AP portfolio exam. They expressed that this project offered an opportunity to add more breadth to their art portfolios and to receive feedback on their artworks. They worked closely together throughout their Grade 12 year, supporting each other in their artistic inquiry and preparation for post-secondary education. Both were heavily involved with Grade 12 graduation-related activities, and started a side fundraiser for the art department which involved taking portraits of graduating seniors for friends and family. Their participation was limited in this project due to their busy schedules. However, they did post a significant number of artworks from their portfolios when they thought it would fit the weekly projects. Many of the Grade 11 participants mentioned repeatedly how much they enjoyed seeing the work of AP students on the site. Sunshine Ice was one of Mary Lou’s students. She was one of the first participants to sign up for the study. However, her participation in the project was significantly limited due to a family illness that occurred two weeks into the project. 87  John Freeman, an art student in courses offered by stormy and Mary Lou, was also one of the first participants to sign up for the study. During initial interviews, he expressed excitement to participate. I inferred from interviews that John Freeman was one of the most technologically experienced, in terms of new and social media, of all the participants. He attempted to recruit his friends to participate in this project; however, they were not interested. After one blog post expressing his excitement for the project, John Freeman stopped participating altogether. For a completely volunteer online community, the participation rates in this study were high. With only one participant not posting any responses to any of the curriculum and every participant posting an image at least once in response to the curriculum, the curriculum participation rate stood at 95%. In volunteer, interest-based social network communities, the average participation rate—meaning, those who post content—in 2008 was around 25% (Li & Bernoff, 2008). This study did not employ a statistical analysis of participation rates; rather, the purpose of pointing this out is to describe the context of this qualitative, exploratory DBR study, as a completely volunteer project that was not a required school curriculum. The teachers expressed that they would like for it to be an extra-curricular project. They saw this as an opportunity to boost interest in the art department for those students who had not already enrolled in any art course. It was seen by the teacher participants as a kind of new-media version of the Doodle Club. A DBR methodology does introduce innovations into education environments; however, it has to consider the needs of participants in the study.  ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS The following reflects on two ethical tensions and their constraints on this research study. The first describes how participation in this project was shaped by participant-held perceptions of what research is, the prestige of research institutions, and the power that researchers hold in the eyes of the participants. The second tension described is related to how this online research project raised significant tensions with the university Institutional Review Board (IRB) around the conditions of confidentiality. The IRB constrained what kinds of data could be generated. Both Gaelan Knoll and Haine Walker acknowledged my position in this study as a reason to participate. They were not alone in stating their feelings that this be a fun 88  project, wherein they would have an opportunity to engage in activities outside of their normal art experiences. I repeatedly tried to ease participants’ anxieties that they were not going to be marked (graded) for their artwork, and I clearly articulated through the assent and parent consent, in-person meetings, emails, and instant messages that their contributions to this extra-curricular project would not be graded. Student participants would apologize about not posting work for an assumed deadline, of which there was only one—in Week 6. It was continually stated to individuals and to the whole group that there were no deadlines; instead, it was an invitation to participate when they could. I was often surprised at their expressions that they were there to help me, a PhD student pursuing his doctorate. Some, like Haine Walker, were also curious about what graduate students at UBC do for research to earn graduate degrees. Apparently, this study offered students a positive of view of what research was about. Many of the participants indicated that they were expected by their parents to attend university. Student participants who were curious as to what Ph.D. students do for research were also found to be investigating me as research for their career interests. Clearly, the power that I held manifested itself in expected ways, however, I did not expect to be subject of their own inquiries. In art educational research, specifically those studies dealing with human subjects, Institutional Review Boards (IRB) present challenges to research design and enactment (Sanders & Ballengee-Morris, 2008). Placing the ethical criteria of biomedical research onto studies that pose minimal risk brings about these challenges (Gunsalus, et. al., 2007). For my university's IRB, maintaining confidentiality in online environments posed a particular dilemma. In the case of this study, one of the major concerns of the IRB was the slight risk, on a password-protected social network site, that participants would download the images of other participants, especially those images that could identify a participant, non-participant, or site of research, and that these could then be distributed widely in the open waters of the Internet. Even the Flash-encoding software enabled on our site could not prevent easy download of videos. No technology that exists today could prevent screen capture or recordings by software located on participants’ own computers. Confidentiality is problematic when there are no set understandings as to what it entails. Christians (2003) states that in research “the signature status of privacy protection, watertight confidentiality has proved to be impossible. Pseudonyms and disguised 89  locations are often recognizable by insiders” (p. 218). Little did I realize that participants who wanted to remain anonymous to everyone involved were already quite adept at doing so, and those who did not disclosed, under their own agency, who they were to other participants who were on the social networking site. The possibility of images linking participants’ online identities to their physical identities was a concern not only of the IRB, but also of one of the parents of the participants. Gaelan Knoll’s parents were initially skeptical of her participation in the project, although she was enthusiastic. After they initially refused her participation, stormy offered, without my prompting or request, to talk with her parents about the project and to detail how she, the teacher, would be participating with Gaelan Knoll. After Gaelan Knoll communicated stormy’s offer, her parents agreed to her participation. When asked about why her parents were concerned, Gaelan Knoll shared that they feared her identity would be revealed online. This anxiety around teens and the Internet is not isolated to this research study. There is a popular misconception that teens are in danger from online, adult predators, who are always strangers. Teens are in less danger from unsolicited interactions with adults online than they are from online bullying from other teens, often ones they know personally (Palfrey, Sacco, boyd, DeBonis, & Tatlock, 2008). In response to the IRB comments and parental concerns, I enacted the following to protect the identities of study participants. Without any existing technology that would prevent screen capture, I took curricular precautions that prevented participants from posting images that would identify themselves, others, or their school. In what was supposed to be an emergent and responsive curricula, I was faced with having a Institutional Review Board limiting the type of content that could be produced. VISUAL METAPHORS, IDENTITY, AND CONFIDENTIALITY I produced and posted on our site a video tutorial titled How to Make a Visual Metaphor. It begins with me discussing how artists use the world around them to represent complex ideas about their thoughts and feelings, without showing themselves directly. In the video, I demonstrate that feelings, such as tension and stress, could be represented through the squeezing and pulling of a red ball. By providing an alternative possibility to consider in the representation of ideas and emotions, I was hoping that this could be a constraint that enables divergent representations of knowledge. In many ways this did provide the opportunity for participants to explore alternative ways of representation. However, it also alienated participants like Ingrid who, as an AP student, was developing 90  a distinct portrait style; it was something that restricted her ability to participate in the weekly projects. It also affected the types of work produced in terms of the media deployed. Although video was suggested as a possible medium for students to use, no one posted a video on the site. Haine Walker, whose anonymity was important to him (her), mentioned that he(she) felt the sound in video risked revealing his(her) identity.  DATA COLLECTION A number of data collection techniques were utilized to create as robust a description of the actors, actions, and relations as possible (Latour, 2005). For this study I collected data from participant interviews, both offline and online; from my own observations of online and offline activity kept in a daily journal; and from images and texts posted by participants. The social network interface also enabled the collection of numerical data, such as the date and time an image was posted, amounts of images posted, and the number of times an image was viewed. These kinds of data (image views, theme occurrence, and so forth) were not subjected to a statistical analysis; rather, they were played with in visually metaphorical ways. It was another way to give form to data in meaningful ways (Eisner, 1997). Data was stored digitally, organized into a database, coded, and archived. INTERVIEW DATA Interviews were conducted in a semi-structured format (see Appendix A for sample questions), where questions were prepared ahead of time as a general guide to structure a conversation around participants’ experiences and interpretations. Semistructured interviews were used because as Neill Ustick (n.d.) stated, “semi- or unstructured provides a powerful means of elucidating the detailed and textured, complex and sometimes contradictory, meanings people develop in their lives, many not revealed or even asked for in survey type research” (p. 16). Participants were invited to elaborate on responses given to the questions, and they were allowed to skip questions altogether. Every effort was made to create a safe and comfortable interview environment. Participants were individually interviewed, in person, once in the beginning of the study and once at the end. A mid-point interview was set up when this was convenient for participants. For these mid-point interviews, participants were given the option of participating in-person, by email, or through instant-message chat. Each in-person interview lasted, on average, around twenty minutes. Interviews were usually held in an open-door, empty classroom in the art department of Oak Secondary. At the final interview with participants, a laptop with the social network site and their images were 91  available for participants to reference in any of their responses. This also provided the opportunity to ask specific, elaborating questions about any of the responses given in an interview as it related to the purposes of this research. All interviews were transcribed and coded. INSTANT MESSAGE (IM) CHAT AND EMAIL In addition to the in-person interviews, I also conducted interviews through email or instant message (IM) chat. This was used only for the mid-point interviews. There were a few reasons for doing this. Many of the participants kept busy schedules, and arranging a mutual time to meet sometimes proved inhibitive. For example, participants were invited to either arrange for an interview at the school, arrange for an online chat using whatever service they wanted, or reply to an email list of questions. Jean Valjean choose his mid-point interview to be in person, at the school, but we were unable to find a mutually agreeable time to meet until close to the end of the study. Also, by having the option to choose the level of engagement for an interview, the research participant had the ability to have agency in how and when they were interviewed (Hollway & Jefferson, 2000). Through an interface like IM chat, an interview can be conducted in a semi-structured format, in which elaborating questions can be directed to participants’ responses. Only three of the participants chose this option (Milo Fishie, Sunshine Ice, and Sophie Lee). Email interviews were more structured, in that participants answered each set of questions completely and then received elaborating questions about their responses. Conscious of the time needed to complete the email interview, I only asked one set of elaborating questions. Only five of the participants requested to be interviewed through email (Pucchomochi, Opti, Mango Jello, Kezia, and Gaelan Knoll). IMAGE AND VIDEO DATA Image and video data in the form of digital photographs or digital video were archived in a database with information such as date posted, title of image (given by the participant who posted the image), description of image (given by the participant who posted the image), total image views (how many times the images was viewed throughout the study), textual responses (text-based responses as posted as comments to the image) and weekly project responses (what the image was in response to). Most participants posted digital images directly to the site, meaning that images came directly from digital cameras rather than from scans, appropriated digital images from the Internet, or digital 92  images of artworks in media such as drawings or paintings. Although the option was available, no participants other than me posted videos to the site. TEXTUAL DATA Image data was often accompanied by textual responses or comments, posted with the image by the creator and the other participants. Textual data could also be in the form of blogs or forum posts. Blogs and forum posts differ in that blogs (short for Weblog) are closely associated with the poster (they tend to be posts to be read with an option to comment), while forums (like open discussions) are associated with the creator but are explicitly openings for a discussion. Textual data is especially important around the discussion of images. Much of the analysis and iterations of the curricula draw from participant discussions around the ideas represented in the posted images. OBSERVATION NOTES AND REFLECTIONS In this study I was a participant-observer, meaning that I participated in all of the activities, weekly inquiries, and discussions online. Since this enactment of DBR was an inquiry into not only a contemporary curricula but also a pedagogy, I was acting as coparticipant research, educator (Kelly, 2003), and artist. Throughout the course of this study, I kept a digital journal that included my observations of activity both online and in school. On average, I visited the school site one to two times a week when not interviewing participants. It was an opportunity for participants to get to know me as a researcher and art educator. The observations became an important part of my ongoing analysis and recording of my own interpretive frame and the moments when certain themes or patterns were noticed. Every day I wrote an entry that noted my emotions, activity on the site, comments on the images, activity at the school if I was there, reflections on interviews, and informal conversations with participants. It was also a place to plan my own pedagogy and adaptations of the curricula to the images and textual dialogues on the site.  THINKING COMPLEXLY ABOUT DATA ANALYSIS Qualitative interpretations are constructed... The interpretive practice of making sense of one’s findings is both artistic and political. (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003, p. 37)  93  The etymological roots of the word analysis come from the Greek analuein, meaning to “unloose”. This describes the first approach to analysis in this research: to unloose tightly bound associations. This is not just to describe their component parts, but also to describe the relationships and ties that move from the descriptions participants constructed, including my own subjectivities, through the ideas, images, and texts that were produced throughout this study. This methodology, with an epistemology drawn from complexity thinking, broadly looks for patterns in the data to understand questions around knowing, learning, and teaching through an art curricula and pedagogy in a social network environment. As such, the data analysis was structured broadly around the goals of this exploratory DBR study: to better understand how knowing, learning, and teaching art are affected by new and social media; to theorize and enact an inquirybased art curricula and pedagogy, as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art and complexity thinking; and to articulate new understandings of learning art at the individual and collective scales as it is enacted in curriculum, pedagogy, and a social network space. Most enactments of DBR methodologies choose strategies of analysis that reflect an objectivist epistemology to produce findings that are generalizable and verifiable, and and that do not reflect the researcher’s bias (Wang & Hannafin, 2005). However, there are some strands of analysis and interpretation in DBR that emphasize thick narrative descriptions to deal with the complexities of learning (Kelly & Lesh, 2000). Narrative has a tradition in understanding educational experiences (Connelly & Clandinin,1990). The particular approach to narrative in this analysis draws from the methodologies of phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty,1962; van Manen, 1990) and hermeneutics (Gadamer, 2004). In phenomenology, it is about the lived experience of individuals, while bracketing my own interpretive frame to understand what it was to experience knowing, learning, and teaching in this study. This is coupled with hermeneutics, which is complementary to phenomenology yet distinct (Byrne, 1998). While phenomenology focuses on lived experiences, hermeneutics focuses on the interpretation of language. This is particularly helpful when addressing how the participants used language to describe their experiences of knowing, learning, and teaching through this study. Hermeneutics and phenomenology are complementary to studies that enact an inter-objectivist epistemology, since it is about both the lived experiences of phenomena and the descriptions of descriptions of that phenomena. Such and analytical approach is well suited to creating interpretations of complex learning at the both the individual and the collective scales. 94  In most objectivist-oriented research, the words analysis or analytical are construed as taking things apart to get at their root causes (Davis & Sumara, 2006). It is a desire to come closer to articulating an efficient causality. In the sciences, efficient cause was reduced down from Aristotle’s four causes: material (out of which something is, for example, a marble statue), formal cause (the shape of the statue or the idea of it existing in the first place), final cause (the end purpose for what should be done, or telos), and efficient cause (the force that brings something into being, for example: the artist sculpting the statue) (Falcon, 2008). Efficient causality has come to shape much of how we understand human behavior and action (Juarrero, 1999). Juarrero (1999) argued that in accounting for human behavior and learning, the sensitivity of humans—as complex dynamic systems—to context and initial conditions would mean that every cause/stimulus would need to be "specified with literally infinite precision" (p. 62). It would end up generating a "universal law" that refers to only one case. Juarrero argued that it is time to give up deductive inferential explanation. Human behaviors are phenomena that are dependent on time and context, which traditional theories of causality have reduced out of the picture. Using hermeneutical narratives, a process of moving from part to whole and whole to part, provides better understandings of complex dynamic human behavior. She stated that “interpreters must move back and forth: the whole text guides the understanding of individual passages; yet the whole can be understood only by understanding the individual passages” (Juarrero , 1999, p. 223). Time and context are critical factors in the emergence and dynamics of learning, and hermeneutics and phenomenology honors these two features in ways that objectivist analysis cannot. This is the role that narrative plays in this analysis: thick descriptions, generated through text, images, and interviews, resist convergences towards generalizations (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). What is sought in this DBR analysis is an understanding of the local conditions that were affected through the experience of knowing, learning, and teaching, through a design and a complex contemporary new media art curricula in a social media space. In addition to understanding the local conditions, successful DBR, informed by the kind of epistemological understanding that underlies this dissertation, then seeks implications for learning through broad articulations.  95  DATA ORGANIZATION, PRESENTATION, AND CODING This next section describes the organization of data in this dissertation, its presentation and its coding. The following Chapters 5 through 8 all address features of this study’s analysis and interpretation. In Chapter 5, I re-present a description, analysis, and interpretation of the enacted contemporary new media art curricula and pedagogy. Instead of looking for linear instances of causality, I explore an unfolding curriculum and pedagogy to better understand how knowing, learning, and teaching were experienced and interpreted. From these interpretations, insights into knowing, learning, and teaching art through this kind curriculum and pedagogy can be articulated. In Chapter 6 the data analysis and interpretation moves to investigate what it was like to learn art through new and social media. Here the analysis looked for recurrent patterns (Lichtman, 2006) into what participants described as their experiences of learning and inquiring through art in this social network site. The insights from Chapter 7 around issues of identity and participation online arose as the study unfolded and in subsequent iterations of data analysis. The data analysis here was similar to that of Chapters 5 and 6; however, the pattern that emerged was not an inquiry direction that was intended at the beginning of this study. This was a theme that emerged throughout my data analysis. In Chapter 8, a different approach to data analysis is taken. Here data visualization is used to provide an alternate form of representation of the numerical data that was collected (Eisner, 1997). This is not a formal statistical analysis. The purpose of doing this is to address and represent the knowing and learning system. It is about presenting new images and metaphors of knowing and learning in art at the collective level (Davis & Sumara, 2005). CODING AND ANALYZING THE DATA The data collected went through a number of coding iterations as part of my analysis. In addition to undertaking the reflective analysis through each weekly iteration, I also went through multiples iterations of data coding and analysis after the curriculum and data collection were finished. After transcribing the interviews and logging the images into a searchable database, I went back to my journal entries of my ongoing analysis and reflected on the goals and methodology of this research and on my epistemological  96  position. This formed the kinds of core codes used: knowing-/knowledge-related, learning, teaching, identity and participation. The first round of coding looked for any instances in my journal entries and transcribed interviews that dealt with knowing/knowledge, learning, or teaching. In this first pass, and in my ongoing analysis, issues around anonymity and identity became apparent. The second pass of the data was this time enlarged to encompass not only interviews and journal entries, but also the participants’ textual dialogues on the site and participants’ images. From the second pass, themes and questions emerged around (a) who and what is considered a “knower” and “learner” in a social network space; (b) how a dynamic system of collective ideas, resulting from artistic inquiry, shapes and is shaped by the learning of individuals in a bounded collective; (c) what is taught and who is teaching in such a collective; and (d) what roles are played by identity performance and construction in online participation and learning. The third pass through the data helped form the organization of the next four chapters: Chapter 5, the designed art curriculum and pedagogy; Chapter 6, learning through new and social media; Chapter 7, identity and participation online; Chapter 8, the knowing and knowledge system. A fourth round of coding was done around the images again, and pertains to the data visualizations in Chapter 8. What is attempted is to visualize and describe a dynamic network of knowledge that has given rise through the interrelationships of inquiry in the online site. The purpose is to create new metaphors for learning at the collective level in art. It is an attempt to visualize how a collective system of ideas representing in and through artworks in a classroom is shaped by learners and shapes learning. These insights are informed by my theoretical framework of this study and by the understandings of learning described in Chapter 6. To do this, seven idea categories were identified, based on participant descriptions of what they thought their images were about. They are consumer culture, happiness, macro or looking closely, sustainability or environmental issues, place, people or relationships, miscellaneous. Images were coded with those either singularly, meaning that I identified only one theme represented in the images or with multiple idea categories, meaning that I identified more than one theme represented. A further description of this process can be found in Chapter 8. The iterative process of coding is movement from part to whole and whole to part, a recursively elaborative process to generate understandings at the local and specific level, and more broadly at the level of contributing to theories of learning for art education. 97  SUMMARY DBR is a methodology that can address the complexities of inquiring into the intersection and implications of new and social media, contemporary new media art practice, and complexity thinking in art education. DBR as enacted in this research is described as having these features: interventionist, theory-driven, pragmatic, contextual, iterative, collaborative, and integrative. I explored histories of DBR and the epistemological tensions that emerge when coupled with complexity thinking. I presented a detailed description of the sites where this research was enacted and of the ethical considerations that affected this research. Data collection, the methods of analysis, coding of data, and organization of interpretations and understandings were also presented. Having presented the theorization of a contemporary new media art curriculum and pedagogy, an exploration of complexity thinking and its metaphors for learning, and a methodology to inquire into the intersection of all the strands of this research, I move now to re-present the data, analysis, and interpretations.  98  CHAPTER 5: NMSNAE CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY In this chapter, I re-present a description, analysis, and interpretation of the educational design used in this study. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the enacted inquirybased art curricula and pedagogy, which drew from contemporary new media art and complexity thinking. Through descriptions which include participant artworks, dialogues, interviews, and my analysis through each iteration of this design, I will describe, analyze, and interpret the inquiry-based art curriculum, pedagogies, and participant activity. Of specific interest to this DBR study are the interpretations of how the art curriculum theorized in Chapters 2 and 3 was enacted, and what insights into learning and teaching can be articulated through a design like this. The organization of this chapter reflects how the art curricula and pedagogies unfolded week by week. Although a linear representation was used, I am not looking necessarily for linear instances of causality. Rather, I explore the unfolding curriculum and pedagogies to better understand how this design was experienced and interpreted (Gadamer, 2004; Juarrero, 1999; Merleau-Ponty,1962; van Manen, 1990). The iterative process of DBR was enacted in the weekly projects. In DBR, iteration is a part of the analysis, interpretation, and enaction of conjectures generated throughout a study (Sandoval, 2004). Cobb, Confrey, diSessa, Lehrer, and Schauble (2003) stated that the iterative qualities of DBR provide “greater understanding of a learning ecology” (p. 9). A learning ecology is a complex system. Iteration provides an opportunity to account for the myriad of conditions that play a role in learning. Presenting the study’s design in this fashion provides an opportunity to analyze and interpret the pedagogy and curriculum. DBR studies cannot use the same kinds of standards, such as internal validity, external validity, reliability, and objectivity, as do other research models. DBR studies are evaluated on the “dialectical interaction between the conjecture and the intervention” (Confrey & Lachance, 2000, p. 258), meaning, they evaluate the quality of relationship between the epistemology of the design and the unfolding intervention. To describe this relationship, Confrey and Lachance suggested that there needs to be a rich account of the design narrative and of how the conjecture and intervention are woven together. The account needs to present ample data, from interviews to student work resulting from the design. Claims for the quality of design and conjecture are based on interpreted data (Confrey & Lachance). In descriptions of research there are always instances of editing, selecting, and analysis that carve away at whole areas of data. Representing the hours of transcribed interviews, pages of notes, hundreds of images, 99  pages of text posted to the site, would require a new media response to research, data representation, and dissemination (Voithofer, 2005). However, complying with dissertation formatting requirements, I will represent an interpretation of the data that weaves dialogically between the theories explored and the intervention as it unfolded. I have selected a number of participants to represent this account. They were chosen to represent the diversity of the group by age, gender, and participation rate. They were also chosen because of their ideas and ability to offer insights into to the local learning of this enacted design and to point towards new understandings of learning in art. What follows is a re-presentation of the designed art curricula and enactments of pedagogy, in the context of a social network through my own analysis and interpretation of the collected data.  NMSNAE- PRE PLANNING In the pre-planning stage, I had initially developed a general shape of the design. However, I deliberately did not design a detailed trajectory for this curriculum. I wanted the design and iterations to be an emergent curriculum. I knew I wanted to design a space that brought students and teachers together to inquire through art in new ways. I wanted a space that would reshape relations between participants and local knowledge in the same kinds of ways the contemporary new media artists did as described in Chapter 2. I also knew that I wanted an emergent curriculum and pedagogy that adapted to the students and that was shaped by their artistic inquiry, as was described in Chapter 3. As a mentor for the AP students I was familiar with the context, student population, and existing curricular structures at Oak Secondary. When Mary Lou and stormy initially agreed to participate in the study, and after IRB approval, I made a number of school visits. On those visits I wanted to get to know the students of Oak Secondary and their attitudes towards and uses of new and social media through informal observations and conversation. Though these observations and conversations informed the design, they were not formally collected as data. During these visits, I also presented my initial ideas about the curriculum to stormy and Mary Lou for their input. I gave them each a copy of the film Euphoria to watch. I wanted to know if they thought the film would be appropriate for the designed curriculum and their students. They were enthusiastic about the design and offered important support and input into making the design meaningful and relevant to their students. I wanted to ensure that, as this was to be a DBR study, its design would be collaboratively constructed and pragmatic to local conditions. 100  One of the major reasons for using a DBR methodology was the opportunity to design a curriculum, participate in its unfolding, and then iteratively respond. From week to week, each iterative step analyzed and interpreted participant responses, interaction, and inquiry. Each week, as a researcher, educator, and co-participant, I adapted the curriculum and my pedagogy in response to the themes I interpreted in participant dialogues and images, and when possible, from formal and informal interviews. Even the weekly media clips from the film Euphoria were edited particularly for each week based on my analysis and interpretation of collective themes. The general shape of the curriculum had three phases. The first phase would focus primarily on creating a space for reshaping relations between participants’ ideas about happiness in our culture and their personal lives, through context-sensitive constraints. Those constraints would be embodied in the weekly questions of inquiry, or prompts, and the short accompanying film clips from Euphoria. The second phase, inspired by Learning To Love You More, would shift towards the collective knowledge that was being enacted by participants. Drawing from the understandings in complexity thinking, I intended the second phase to be about generating a self-organizing complex system by using the history of ideas, as represented in the images, as a source for new inquiry through art. The third phase would emphasize an extended individual inquiry in relation to the experience of inquiring with and through a collective of artists. RESPONDING TO MEDIA: EUPHORIA In the first phase, participants responded through artistic inquiry using digital photography to segments of the film Euphoria (Boot, 2008). An art/documentary film, Euphoria was designed to stimulate discussion and reflection around trans-disciplinary themes which include neuroscience, social anthropology, psychology, and history. Its purpose was to provide an opportunity for adolescents and adults to reflect and discuss the ways that creative engagement with something they care about can create meaning and pleasure in their lives. There were a number of reasons for incorporating a film like Euphoria as a constraint that enables. One reason stemmed from my concerns that this inquiry-based art curriculum would not be able to be enacted as my own classroom experience (Castro, 2004, 2007). I took into consideration how teens learn through new and social media. Research has shown that adolescents engaged in new media practice produce works in response to other media productions as a way of learning (Jenkins et al., 2007). 101  Euphoria was used as a thematic catalyst to begin the curricular inquiry. It was also chosen because the film itself embodies ideas such as feedback, meaning-making, and engagement. The filmmakers wanted to make a film that would not provide all the answers, but rather would provide a space for further discussion and elaboration. The open-ended quality of richly conceptualized visual metaphors served as a constraint that, coupled with the weekly prompts, enabled a space to explore ideas about self, happiness, culture, family, and social relationships. Media such as films can be a space of learning when they prompt new interpretive framing that is open and fluid (Ellsworth, 2004). Euphoria’s use is conceptualized here as a pedagogical space for new relations with ideas and the world (Bourriaud, 1998; Hansen, 2004). EUPHORIA IN CANADA It should be noted that the film Euphoria was funded by the United States National Institutes of Drug Abuse, through the National Institutes of Health. There were some scenes that addressed the audience as if they were Americans. Would the participants understand these issues when sections of the film were directly addressed to the American public? This was a concern I had about using Euphoria as a thematic catalyst. It was decided, in consultation with the film-makers and teachers, to edit out those sections that directly addressed the audience as if they were Americans. However, the larger themes and ideas represented in the film are not unique to American culture; rather; they extend to most of the industrialized world, including Canada. PARTICIPANT RESPONSE TO EUPHORIA Both Sophie Lee and Haine Walker found that the complex visual metaphors used in the film provided a space for not only thinking about these issues, but also visualizing them. For Haine Walker the film provided a space to “think outside of the box.” For Sophie Lee it was a catalyst for thinking. Mr. John Charles: How did you like making art in response to the video clips? Haine Walker: I think it was pretty fun. The video helped me come up with ideas and to think outside of the box. Mr. John Charles: How did they do that? How do they make you think outside of the box? Haine Walker: Well … by what Lee does is out of the box, right? You don’t just go out in public and spray paint someone’s roof or spray people at dry cleaners. Like if I brought in a hose and started spraying people with it, I would probably get kicked out. [laughs] Or get the police called on me. I don’t  102  paint my shoes gold and slip diamonds on them, but that would still be pretty cool. Mr. John Charles: What do you think about the Euphoria clips you've seen so far? Sophie Lee: They are pretty interesting. It also gets me to think a lot. Sometimes I don't even realize how much thinking I do just taking pictures. And it comes naturally, you just keep thinking about things and keep generating different ideas and images in your head. Most of the participants’ images and text did not exhibit a strong visual connection to the film. In the weekly projects, with the exception of Week 3, I did not refer directly to the film’s visual style or to the representational strategies found in the film. In Week 3, when participants were asked to represent someone in their life who was meaningfully engaged in something that was sustainable, I referred to how the film used visual metaphors to represent people they interviewed without depicting them directly. Not every participant found the film to be engaging, or even engaged with the film itself. Pucchomochi expressed that she did not bother watching the clips and preferred just responding to the weekly prompt, and John Freeman expressed that he could not get anything out of the film. Mr. John Charles: And what kept you from participating? John Freeman: Well… I don’t know. I didn’t feel that passionate about the themes that we were doing. I don’t know... I didn’t really have anything for Euphoria... I couldn’t get really a thought process going for it really. With John, participation and engagement could have been more tied to his own sense of identity; this is explored further in Chapter 7. Lucy MaGee, one of the teachers, had difficulty viewing the clips because of not having the proper Flash player installed on her computer (this issue was resolved by Week 2). Other than Lucy MaGee, no other participant reported a technological issue impeding them from watching the film clips. The option to use the film throughout the curriculum was presented to the teachers in pre-planning. We all agreed that we would see how the first few weeks went before making a decision. By Week 4, participation had dropped off significantly. We decided that, whether or not it was the film, we had reached a logical conclusion to the first phase of the curriculum.  103  PRE-ACTIVITY Before students were able to log onto the site, they had to return a completed Parent Consent and Student Assent form. When they did, they were asked for their email address and given a two-sided handout that outlined the steps for signing on to the site and their responsibilities (Appendix B). They were then sent an email invitation with a Web hyperlink to the site. When they logged onto the site they were asked to respond to a few questions about their practices with new and social media. These questions, such as How often do you use the Internet in a week?, were also included in the first inperson interviews (Appendix A). Students were then invited to view the short video tutorials on making a visual metaphor and uploading digital pictures or videos to the site. There was also a short tutorial, posted to the Forum section, on composing pictures with a camera. In all of the interviews with participants, no one commented on these informational tutorials as having impacted their learning, although according to the recorded view counts, they were being watched by at least some of the participants. The first activity on the site consisted mostly of modifying their user profiles. Seven out of the 20 participants, including me, changed their user profile image from the one they had originally posted. In the video tutorial How to Make a Self-Portrait Without Showing Yourself I demonstrated how I chose to make a bouquet of tools to represent who I was on the site. This changed by Week 6 when it was apparent that my identity, based on my responses to the Week 6 prompts, had shifted from resource to co-participant. Most participants commented that they changed their profile images for something more suitable to their personalities as the curriculum progressed.  WEEK 1 The Week 1 project for the curriculum was predesigned, and was complemented by a four-minute film clip from Euphoria. The prompt was: Watch the Week 1 Project video and respond to the question “How does the world around you define happiness visually?” with a digital photograph(s) or video. Post your photographs or video with a short description or title. The first few days of activity in relation to the project prompt were slow. stormy posted first, offering an image of a clenching fist full of international money (Figure 5.1). In interviews, stormy commented that she enjoyed having participants comment on her work. Figure 5.1 illustrates an example of this kind of dialogue in response to an image  104  she posted. Here the dialogue moved from simple appreciation, to concepts, to the stylistic qualities of her image. It was a space that stormy felt she could be both a teacher and an artist simultaneously. Ingrid uploaded images from her AP portfolio to share. Ricky Bobby posted figure drawings made in an after-school art program. Gaelan Knoll posted images from his(her) neighborhood. Three days into the project, Haine Walker posted seventy-eight images, all taken over a two-day period. Although not directly addressing the weekly project prompt, Haine’s significant amount of images was a self-described revelation for him (her) in that it was a moment when he(she) overcame his(her) fears of being judged (Figure 5.2).  105  Artist: stormy Title: Week 1 project: A FIST FULL OF DOLLARS Description: How does the world around me define happiness? Posted: 4/15/2008 11:21 PM Views: 57  Figure 5.1. A Fist Full of Dollars.  106  Figure 5.2. Sample from Haine Walker’s early posts.  107  Although the participants were for the most part posting images and interacting at this stage, I remarked in my journal that I was beginning to feel anxiety that this research study would not be a success in terms of the amount of student engagement with the curriculum. JOURNAL ENTRY: APRIL 17 It's slowing down. A few comment posts here and there plus the occasional photo posting. Lucy was having problems seeing the video. I referred her to the flash site to update her web browser. I'm a bit torn as to what to do about encouraging participation on the site. My desire is for everyone to be really active all the time, but I have to remember that they are only committing an hour a week to this project. I also have to be careful not to try and incite activity by prompting participation. It's a delicate balance between how much control to exhibit and when to let activity emerge. stormy has been the most active of all the teachers and given their busy schedules it's understandable. stormy's blog post highlights the fact they enjoy the anonymity and trying to guess other's identity. It's set up an interesting little side project where the teachers want to be anonymous and don't want the students to know their identity. It'll be interesting to see if the students can figure out who's the teachers and who's not. I'm thinking that I would like for the teachers to be revealed later on... or leave it up to them. I also need to give them a who's who list too. There also seems a lot of interest around Gaelan's profile picture: a bathtub in a lawn at dusk. There was a lot of initial interest because Gaelan's self proclaimed inexperience with photography there was a rush to assure her of her photography and a whole dialogue has emerged around the bathtub and now Stormy has posted a photo of the railroad tracks and chairs at sunset as a response to her image and a ensuing dialogue has begun. With ethnographic observation there is an implicit awareness of being an observer in a community. The site shows when I'm online and when I'm not, so participants know when I'm "there" and when I'm not.  This was a moment where I felt the curricular component could fail. This is an anxiety in teaching online courses—a feeling that not everyone will participate fully. I started to think more about what was the difference between teaching in a embodied classroom and teaching in a digital virtual space. It became more clear to me throughout this study that it is the lack of feedback, of being able to read the physical emotions of your students, that was disarming, even suffocating. Bullen (1998) pointed out that this is often felt by teachers of online courses. This lack of emotional feedback can sometimes be debilitating (Smith, Ferguson, & Caris, 2002). What also emerged was stormy’s interest in trying to identify who everyone was online. I had planned on giving the teacher participants a list of student participant identities but,  108  at the teachers’ request, I did not share it with them. They seemed to enjoy the challenge of guessing who was who. Week 1 presented a number of events, some anticipated and some not. It also set the stage for certain collective themes emerging but not directly connected to the weekly prompt or the film. One visual stylistic trend was an interest in macro photography or in looking closely at the subject of an image as seen in stormy’s feedback (Figure 5.2) and in Opti’s image (Figures 5.3 & 5.4). Opti’s image World in a Seed was a site for much dialogue on the technicalities of photography, specifically macro photography or getting in close to your subject. The subject of food also seemed to generate interest among Gaelan Knoll and Haine Walker. I posted some advice about setting up the macro function on the camera that he was borrowing from me for the project (Figure 5.4).  Artist: Opti Title: The World in a Seed 4/20/2008 12:31 PM Views: 15  FIGURE 5.3. World in a Seed.  109  FIGURE 5.4. Dialog About Opti’s “World in a Seed.”  110  I was experiencing anxiety around the issue of participation. I had certain expectations for what participants would be doing based on my experience as an art teacher. However, those expectations did not take into account the fact that my experiences were based in classrooms where I would see and interact with students daily. Again, it was not having the kinds of relationships I was used to as an educator that was at the root of this anxiety. I ended up posting my response to the weekly prompt four days into the project, hoping to provoke dialogue and activity. In my journal I reflected on feeling that I had ended up modeling the expectation of what to post. In my journal entry for April 20, I wrote: So after posting my billboard images, a number of participants ended up photographing shopping bags and advertisements. I'm not sure I like setting up what participants should be doing, but I got a little panicked because I had not seen any responses besides stormy’s. Next time I won't post until the next week's assignment. Whether or not I caused a certain response or not can not be fully understood. What I had not anticipated, though, and what was learned from interviews later, was the fact that it took a long time for the participants to think about the constraints. In an interview, Gaelan Knoll reflected on what the constraints like the Week 1 prompt required. He(she) talked about never really thinking about these kinds of questions. Having to represent his (her) thinking visually was another new experience. It reminded me that complex emergence takes time (Cilliers, 2006). If, judging from many of the interviews like the one with Gaelan Knoll, this was a way of thinking and being that is not usually encountered, then it should take time to respond. Mr. John Charles: Could you describe a little bit more about how the weekly projects make you think? Gaelan Knoll: Well, some of the projects were like.... The happiness ones: like what makes you happy? How does the world think of happiness? Those made me think. Because I never really thought about them. Then to have to represent them visually and then I had to think a little bit harder about what works. Gaelan Knoll and Milo Fishie used macro photography to get in close to the printed advertisements they photographed. In Week 1, consumer culture became a site for examination when addressing how our own culture shows us what happiness is and how to get it. This was influenced by the prompt, the Euphoria clip, and what I had assumed  111  was my response. However, the participants’ responses varied with their attitudes and ideas around consumer culture. Milo Fishie’s response (Figure 5.5) sparked a dialogue that exhibits conflicting ideas around consumer culture. Already stormy and I had posted images and a video that critically looked at how consumer culture interprets and presents happiness. I interpret the students’ responses as much more nuanced than stormy and my responses (Figure 5.6).  Artist: Milo Fishie Title: Week 1 Project Description: "How does the world around you define happiness visually?" Posted: 4/20/2008 4:32 PM Views: 95  Figure 5.5. Milo Fishie’s Week 1 project. Milo Fishie’s response received the most views of any image during the study. A number of factors were at play in this, one being that the more views an image got in this site the more it came up under the filter Most Viewed Images in the photo section of the site. Also, if participants were commenting on the image, that activity would show up in the Recent Activity section. The act of looking in social network sites does have an affect and it is not passive.  112  Figure 5.6. Dialogue about Milo Fishie’s Week 1 project.  Rick O’Shay (Figure 5.7) posted his piece as both an image and blog post, examining how, as a culture, we have come to consume too much. This was a concern of stormy’s, as seen in Figure 5.6. stormy posted a link to a Web-based documentary called The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard (2007). The 20-minute film describes the linear life span of all of our consumable stuff. The premise of the film is that modern consumerism is a linear model of extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal (Leonard, 2007). The film argues that this model is not sustainable on a planet with finite  113  resources. At the end of the film Leonard presents some non-linear sustainable economic models.  Artist: Rick O’Shay Title: Week One Project - Society’s Happiness 4/22/2008 10:25 PM Views: 15  FIGURE 5.7. Rick O’Shay’s Week 1 Response.  How students approached this issue was in contrast with how the teacher’s, including myself, approached the topic. Student participants seemed to have a more nuanced response, being able to recognize its drawbacks yet still acknowledging they were  114  deriving pleasure from it. This can be seen in Milo Fishie’s description of her image and how it contrasts with Rick O’Shay’s. WEEK 1 ANALYSIS At this early point in the curriculum, there were a number the threads emerging. First, I was experiencing an unexpected anxiety. This stemmed from a qualitatively different kind of pedagogical experience. However, my fears that I would directly influence all the participants’ responses through my own work as an artist reflected an ego-centric perspective of my pedagogy that I was not previously aware of. From the kinds of dialogues and responses posted, I was able to observe that, in fact, there was quite a range of ideas and opinions brought into this space. The second thread was around the constraint. Even though I have written about constraints in the art classroom (Castro, 2004, 2007) requiring different relations with the our interpretive framing of the world and the difficulties that students encounter, I was reminded of the need to let thinking and inquiry emerge. And the third thread was this emerging theme of sustainability in the online dialogues and posted images. It was a theme that I did not anticipate nor expect. This analysis formed the next iteration in the Week 2 prompt and Euphoria clip.  WEEK 2 The Week 2 prompt was designed deliberately, both to act as a summary of the previous week’s activity and to point towards the next iteration of inquiry. By summarizing the previous week’s activity, I presented my interpretation of our dialogue to the collective as a way to show how each week’s project was in response to our collective inquiry. Sustainable and unstable activity was selected as the theme based on the Week 1 analysis. In 2007, before the current economic recession, the environment and sustainability were foremost in the minds of most Canadians as one of the most important political issues (R. Smith et al., 2007). It is an issue that is still important, especially in the greater metropolitan area of Vancouver. While the film Euphoria explores ideas of sustainability in terms of happiness and the body, the word is not totally unfamiliar to the participants, including students. Here is how the Week 2 project was presented: Last week we watched the first clip of the film Euphoria. It used visual metaphors to explore some images of happiness. This week we are going to view a longer clip where the main character (Lee) explores the word euphoria. He uses visual metaphors again to explore how euphoria happens  115  in the brain. He makes a distinction between euphoria and dysphoria. Dysphoria is what happens after a spike of a unsustainable euphoria- the let down after a big high. Last week Milo Fishie posted a photo of a collage they made addressing the question: How does the world around you define happiness visually? A great series of comments followed and stormy's question: "But is the happiness lasting or fleeting?" inspires this week's question: What around us presents the kind of unsustainable (happiness that doesn't last or build off of itself) euphoria explored in the film?  By Week 2, less than half of the participants had posted images in response to the Week 1 prompt. This again was a source of anxiety for me as a researcher and teacher. I was experiencing a conflict of wanting to gently remind participants that I was there to help them, without trying to provoke responses so as to produce more data and participation. In this week, I attempted to develop my role as a consciousness of the collective by folding the participants’ insights and dialogue into the week’s project and beginning to connect participants to ideas outside of the site. This was about connecting what participants brought to this space from their local knowledge and artistic inquiry, and tracing connections and associations drawn from my own perspective and history. Participants’ ideas and artworks prompted the occasion to teach. For example, Opti posted a quizzical image that was posted sideways (Figure 5.8). Since the title of the image was Music Juxtaposition, I assumed this was deliberate. One of my actions as an art educator on the site was to connect participants with artworks that, in my interpretation, related to what they have posted. For Opti’s image, I posted images and links of and to local artists Rodney Graham and Jeff Wall. The sideways image of a street scene with a music instrument on the sidewalk reminded me of Rodney Graham’s images of upside-down trees and Jeff Wall’s constructed landscapes. This also created an opening for stormy to further elaborate and extend a tracing of associations in art history. The participants’ knowledge, as represented in their textual responses and images, became the occasion for stormy and me to point towards relationships with art and culture (Figures 5.9 and 5.10).  116  Artist: Opti Title: Music juxtaposition Posted: 4/20/2008 12:29 PM Views: 27  Figure 5.8. Music Juxtaposition.  117  FIGURE 5.9. Response to Music Juxtaposition 1.  118  FIGURE 5.10. Response to Music Juxtaposition 2.  Week 2 also provided the space for Haine Walker to examine his(her) own social relationships (Figures 5.11). This was a matter of concern for Haine Walker—to be able to inquire through art into the social tensions and anxieties he(she) experienced as a teenager. In contrast to Haine Walker’s response to Week 1—posting a large amount of images—he(she) took considerable time planning and organizing his(her) images. At both the midpoint and final interviews Haine Walker mentioned that this week’s project was the most meaningful. Mr. John Charles: So what was you favorite project so far? Haine Walker: It was the temporary happiness one. For that I took my friends and I said, ‘we are doing a photo shoot!’ I thought temporary happiness for teens, because a lot of teens are going for that high school crush… ‘oh I like this person’ but usually it is like not. It is just for the sake of liking someone. And then when they get with someone they are usually like … ‘oh I don’t like this person anymore.’ But you were so into them I thought you were going to  119  get married or something. I have a friend that is like that. So I thought that was like temporary happiness. Like an illusion. You don’t really like someone, it is just a crush. There are really good couples in high school but there are not as many, supposed couples. And there are good couples, but couples have arguments every so often. So that is like temporary happiness, at the moment.  Artist: Haine Walker Title: Gang Description: Week 2: Temporary Happiness. From our mini-photoshoot, this just came to be my most favorite picture. Friends, they're there for you and the fun times are spent with them. Sometimes friends break up though. The model on the left is doing a "peace" sign with her hands, but I accidentally edited that out! D:I also edited out the signs. Much thanks to the models. Posted: 4/24/2008 5:49 PM Views: 13  FIGURE 5.11. Gang.  120  In Rick O’Shay’s Week 2 response (Figure 5.12), his image of a gas station with 0.00 for the price of a liter of petrol, prompted Opti to take an appreciative stance in his response. Rick O’Shay took the opportunity to describe his thinking behind the image in response to Opti’s comments about the benefits and drawbacks from free gas.  Artist: Rick O’Shay Title: Week 2 - Unsustainable Happiness Posted: 5/5/2008 11:20 PM Views: 19  FIGURE 5.12. Unsustainable Happiness. 121  At the beginning of Week 2, Gaelan Knoll’s response to Rick O’Shay’s blog posting caught my attention (Figure 5.13). The post was identical to his description of his image for Week 1. Rick O’Shay’s position on consumer culture, when coupled with the theme of happiness, prompted Gaelan Knoll’s response: “Happiness has suddenly turned negative.” I interpreted this as a significant event. Rick O’Shay, stormy, and I were actively posting and promoting a critical inquiry into consumer culture. Here Gaelan Knoll challenges this critique, and in another way, challenged what we were doing as teachers.  FIGURE 5.13. Define Happiness....  Gaelan Knoll’s response to the Week 2 project was also unexpected. Gaelan Knoll, in his(her) image Relief (Figure 5.15), seemed to offer a defiant and markedly different interpretation of the prompt by deciding to draw attention to the affective physiological qualities of relief. Rather than take on the unsustainability of certain actions, as explored in the film, or of consumer culture, he(she) decided to examine the physiological or phenomenological embodied experience of relief. Given Gaelan Knoll’s previous responses to Rick O’Shay’s Blog post and the Week 1 project, I interpreted the image of a flushing toilet as a possible act of transgression. 122  Artist: Gaelan Knoll Title: Unsustainable Relief Description: unsustainable happiness-in the form of a flushing toilet (week 2 project) Posted: 4/28/2008 9:00 PM  FIGURE 5.14. Unsustainable Relief.  123  WEEK 2 ANALYSIS In Week 2, my anxieties around participation were situated in an understanding that teaching online involves a different kind of dynamics. As the site became propagated with almost 100 images I was able to start responding to the knowledge that was represented by the participants. This offered an opportunity to trace associations drawn from my own embodied history as an artist and educator. This also prompted stormy to do the same, and to trace whole different sets of associations to the ideas represented by participants. It was in the space between the participants and their ideas that stormy and I were beginning to act as consciousnesses of the collective. Mary Lou and Lucy MaGee at this point had not posted any content beyond their profile images. What was also beginning to emerge was an understanding of how the constraints of the prompt and film clip were being woven into the dialogue–meaning, I was interpreting Gaelan Knoll’s response as a response to our critical positions. He(she) offered a new interpretive possibility from our convergence onto one interpretation. It was from this interpretation that I decided to shift the following Week 3 question into one that offered a space where participants could now examine a different kind of happiness by inquiring into those people in their lives that engaged with their world in meaningful ways.  WEEK 3 The Week 3 project marked a shift from the kind of constraints utilized in Weeks 1 and 2. Week 3 was about looking at, or for, those people in our lives who seem to be meaningfully engaged. The week’s prompt offered an opportunity to begin tracing and identifying those associations in participants’ lives, and with those people around them that engaged with the world in meaningful ways. Here was how the project was stated: Last week we watched our second clip from Euphoria about happiness that is not sustainable. Gaelan Knoll responded to Rick O’Shay's blog on this kind of "happiness" with "we need what we want instead of wanting what we need I suppose. Happiness has suddenly turned negative!" Well, this week's project takes a turn for the positive. In this week's clip we'll watch Lee explain what he means by lasting, sustainable happiness through meaning making. It inspires our Week 3 Project question: Who around you engages with life meaningfully? Create a portrait (that doesn't show them directly) that shows how they engage with life meaningfully. You can create a photo or interview them with the video function on your digital camera (for example). Share their story with us.  124  Kezia’s response (Figure 5.15), her first for the project, of her toy robot in a cactus pot, caught me by surprise. I decided not to dismiss the image as an ironic response, but rather to respond and to allow her to describe her own thinking around her decisions (Figure 5.16). Participants stormy and Haine Walker appreciated the playfulness of the image. In that same vein, I engaged in my own playful dialogue about robots, even suggesting she take a look at a toy robot dinosaur. I had learned from Week 2 and Gaelan Knoll’s response to engage in dialogue around student’s knowledge, no matter where it comes from or what it represents.  Artist: Kezia Title: a man a plan. week 3 project. Description: Who around you engages with life meaningfully? Well, my robot here does. Posted: 4/28/2008 11:07 PM Views: 29  FIGURE 5.15. A Man A Plan.  125  FIGURE 5.16. Responses to A Man A Plan.  126  Jean Valjean did not look at a specific person in his life, rather an identity. Jean Valjean posted an image depicting himself as a teacher writing on the chalkboard (Figure 5.17). He interpreted the prompt, in relation to the ideas in the film, as doing something out of duty and in service to others. I interpreted this image as Jean Valjean constructing and performing his identity into a possible actuality. He created, through an image that simultaneously honored the significant role teachers play in his life, a possible future for himself.  Artist: Jean Valjean Title: Duty Description: a person who does meaningful things is a teacher cuz they are giving us a chance for a better life. Posted:5/9/2008 11:37 PM Views: 16  FIGURE 5.17. Duty.  127  For stormy, this prompt provided a catalyst for the start of a series of works about a colleague she worked with who, through his clothing, represented significant moments in his life (Figure 5.18). Here, the constraint served as a space for stormy to examine a close relationship in her life in a new way.  Artist: stormy Title: Mondays are Red: Week three project Description: I interviewed a teacher at the school who wears a different colour shirt and matching socks for everyday of the week. It relates to the birth of his daughter. He wore purple on the day she was born, and decided that he would wear purple on every Wednesday henceforth. This image is the first of a series of five that I will be submitting for week three. Posted: 5/12/2008 5:56 PM Views: 29  FIGURE 5.18. Mondays Are Red.  128  This week, were Sunshine Ice’s first posts. She responded with images of her boyfriend as someone who engages with life meaningfully (Figure 5.19). The strategy of photographing a photograph was a novel interpretive solution to the constraints of not depicting an identity, yet suggesting one.  Artist: Sunshine Ice Title: Week 3 Description: The one who means the world to me <3 Posted: 5/5/2008 9:37 PM Views: 16  FIGURE 5.19. The One Who Means The World To Me <3.  129  Artist: Gaelan Knoll Title: Pastor Description: my week three project Posted: 5/12/2008 7:58 PM Views: 24  FIGURE 5.20. Pastor.  130  Gaelan Knoll took his(her) time responding, in order to coordinate photographing the classroom where his(her) church pastor taught (Figure 5.20). For Gaelan Knoll, the space of the classroom his(her) pastor taught represented visually someone he(she) thought was engaged in working with people in meaningful ways. Here, I also used the opportunity to share my own interpretations with participants, to share with them how I was understanding their images. Terry Barrett (1997) talked about the importance of sharing our descriptions and interpretations with students as a way to articulate how we encounter their art. WEEK 3 ANALYSIS In terms of overall participation, during Week 3 some participants began responding for the first time and some of those who began the project were not posting at all. Many said that the demands of school and home life were leaving little room in their busy schedules to watch the videos, respond to each other, and make images. There was a challenge to this week’s prompt, which I had not anticipated. This related to an exchange that took place, when participants asked me for advice and clarification on what they should photograph. Sunshine Ice, Haine Walker, and stormy all had questions about what they should photograph. This is where having the film was helpful; I referred participants to specific instances in Euphoria by posting screen shots of scenes that used visual metaphors to communicate ideas about someone without actually showing them. For both Gaelan Knoll and stormy this week posed a challenge. That challenge was in bringing a new interpretive possibility to their relationships with others. It was something that took time. Both stormy and Gaelan Knoll talked about how they had to give some time to think about their relationships. During this time they both expressed that there was a moment where they recognized, from an experience in their day, a connection to the prompt—which provoked a new interpretation of that relationship. For Gaelan Knoll, it was hearing that his(her) pastor found happiness in teaching and relationship-building. Mr. John Charles: How have you liked the weekly projects? Gaelan Knoll: They're fun, and have made me think really really hard. Whenever I see a new one I go "huh?" but I find that after a bit of walking around and thinking, the projects start making sense, and ideas start popping up. I actually liked Week 3- to show someone who lives a meaningful lifeeven though I'm...still...finishing...it....(sorry!). I got to think about what I think makes a meaningful life-I guess the project assigned coincided with a bunch of other events that were happening in my life-it just made me sit and ponder. I'm planning on interviewing my pastor now. 131  For stormy, it was seeing a colleague in a new way, reinterpreting an already familiar story and representing his meaningful engagement through her series of images. Theorized and enacted here, constraints that enable offered a reshaping of interpretive framing of a possibility landscape. The possibility landscape in both Gaelan Knoll and stormy’s lives was not unfamiliar; yet, through the context-sensitive constraint their interpretive frames were reshaped and their relations to those features shifted. Contextsensitive constraints are incomplete openings, similar to the relational qualities of new media art: incomplete and dependent on participation and local embodied knowledge.  WEEK 4 From here we moved to Week 4. At this point in the project there were over 150 images posted to the site. I was beginning to understand participation through new and social media as the possibility to participate when able or desired, rather than as having as many of the participants posting as much as possible (Jenkins et al., 2007). The previous weeks’ projects had been primarily designed to reshape relations to the world around participants. Week 4 would now look to examine what in the lives of participants was meaningful. Week 4 marked the final project that directly addressed the film Euphoria. In this week’s prompt, participants were asked to respond to a clip from Euphoria that addressed how we can make euphoria in our own lives through meaningful engagement. The question in Week 4 was: How do we do that in our own lives and what does that look like? Overall, this prompt elicited the fewest posted images. Here is how it was presented: Last week we saw what sustainable meaning making could be. In your week 3 project responses you shared with us those around you who engage in life in meaningful ways. This week we see that for Lee making art, especially big sculptures, is really meaningful to him. We're left with an understanding that happiness is not something we buy, or eat, but is something we "build." What Lee means is that if we believe we are capable we can build our own happiness through engaging with things that are meaningful to us. This week's project is to share with us those things that you engage with meaningfully, that bring you the kind of happiness that's sustainable. As Lee said, there is no limit to the amount of things that we can engage with to create meaning. The challenge will be to show us what you do in a way that expresses its meaningfulness.  132  At the midpoint interview, Mango Jello stated that this was her favorite project because it was a chance to share one of her more pleasurable experiences: playing with her baby brother (Figure 5.21). Overall, the constraints, as embodied in the weekly projects, gave Mango Jello an opportunity to inquire through art into aspects of her life.  Artist: Mango Jello Title: <3 Posted: 5/16/2008 4:44 PM Views: 18  FIGURE 5.21. <3. 133  Teacher participant Lucy MaGee posted an image of her studio as a way to communicate her ideas of engagement (Figure 5.22). In the dialogue around the image I asked to hear more about her ideas around “getting lost” in her work, contrasting it with the desire to always know where you are. I interpreted this a learning opportunity for the student participants to read about the experience of artistic inquiry from a practicing artist like Lucy MaGee.  Artist: Lucy MaGee Title: Where I get lost... - Week 4 Posted: 5/15/2008 11:17 PM Views: 16  FIGURE 5.22. Where I Get Lost...  134  WEEK 4 ANALYSIS By Week 4, I noticed that my artworks in response to the weekly projects were receiving the least views. Granted, as I was the most active participant on the site in terms of hours logged, and as the researcher, my viewing of other participants’ images and not my own could have skewed the view counts. However, the difference between the average views of my posted images and those of the participants was significant enough to make me question just how much I thought my own image responses to the weekly prompts were influencing the artistic inquiry of the participants. This reminds me of a long-standing issue in art education: whether or not to be a practicing artist, and if so, whether or not to share that work with students (Anderson, 1981; Ball, 1990; Szekely, 2004). The fear is that an artist-teacher model of pedagogy would only present one perspective of the world of art (Day, 1986). For whatever reason, despite my initial anxieties around a causal influence from my own artistic inquiry, participants were not necessarily looking towards my own inquiry as much as they were looking to each other. Given the low participation for Week 4, and on consultation with the teacher-participants, it was decided that we would shift to the second phase of the curriculum. The second phase was oriented towards using the knowledge represented in the images produced from artistic inquiry as the source for new landscapes of possibility. What also prompted this shift were certain patterns emerging outside of the weekly prompts and film clips. Jean Valjean’s Week 4 response, Generations (Figure 5.23), is an example of how I was interpreting participants’ looking at each other’s images. What caught my attention was its resemblance to Haine Walker’s Land of the Dandelion and Sunshine Yellow (Figure 5.24). Jean Valjean did mention in interviews that he learned through looking, though he did not name Haine’s images as inspiration. Perhaps this relationship is brought more from my interpreting a similarity than by any causal influence. If there was, it was not documented or acknowledged by either of the two. What it did do was further shift our curriculum towards the second phase. At this point there were well over 250 images posted by participants. Many of the images posted from week to week were not related to the designed curriculum. Drawing from the practices of July and Fletcher in Learning To Love You More and complexity thinking, the Week 5 project would incorporate the conjecture that they were learning from the images of each other into the curricular design.  135  Artist: Jean Valjean Title: generations Description: as one grows old the other grows up Posted: 5/12/2008 4:22 PM Views: 20  FIGURE 5.23. Generations.  136  Artist: Haine Walker Title: Land of the Dandelion Description: Week 1 Posted: 4/18/2008 6:03 PM Views: 4  Artist: Haine Walker Title: SunshineYellow Description: Week 1 Posted: 4/18/2008 6:03 PM Views: 16  FIGURE 5.24. Haine Walker’s Dandelions.  WEEK 5 With my interpretation that participants were implicitly drawing inspiration from each other and with a large cache of images on the site, it was appropriate to transition to the second phase of the curricular design. By Week 4, there were already collective themes of sustainability, consumer culture, and happiness. Visually, many participants were adopting a stylistic approach of macro photography or looking closely at their subject matter. Weeks 5 through 7 enacted constraints that were focused on attending to each others’ images and ideas. This was a blending of features of contemporary new media art, like Learning To Love You More, and complexity thinking. In Learning, July and Fletcher ask participants at Assignment #19 to respond to a participant’s response to Assignment #14. In complexity thinking, this is a recursively elaborative process, where 137  the results of one activity become the source for the next activity. It is a theorization of a collective of artists as a self-organizing or autopoietic system (Maturana & Varela, 1980, 1992). Autopoiesis means self-creation through the interrelationships of a complex system. The first four weeks of inquiry generated a diversity of understandings and knowledge, and the conjecture in Week 5 was designed to inquire if a collective of artists could become the source of their own curriculum. Here is how the Week 5 project was presented: This week's project will be a little different. Instead of responding to a Euphoria film clip we are going to respond to each others' artworks. STEP # 1 - For this week you are to select one (or possibly more than one) image and create a response with your own image or video. It has to be made by someone from this site and posted to this site. There are many possibilities in how you can respond, but here are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. -What would that person's image look like through time? Recreate the image with a video exploration. -Create the exact opposite of the image you're responding to. -Mash-up more than one image using photoshop to create a new story or theme. -Create the sequel image to the one you're responding to. THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS! DO WHATEVER MAKES SENSE TO YOUR RESPONSE TO THE IMAGE. STEP #2 - Post your image or video and in the comments section paste the image or screen shot (if you need help with that let me know) of the video you responded to. Mango Jello posted an image of a red pepper, inspired by Opti’s tomato image from Week 1 (Figure 5.26). This is one of three of Opti’s images that was responded to for this project. Mango Jello did not know who Opti was outside of the site. Mr. John Charles: And why did you choose Opti’s picture of the tomato? Mango Jello: I really liked it how it has like the idea. How it has like the rotten one in the back and the nice one in the front. Like to respond to the question. I was basically just going through all the pictures and finding one that … like if I thought of an idea. ‘Oh I’ll try that.’ That’s the one that turned out the best.... I think the idea works. Like how he set it up and everything but I think. Um, probably use macro and it will be better. Like my pictures I would play around with it to get an effect…  138  Artist: Mango Jello Title: Week 5 Project Posted: 5/24/2008 5:45 PM Views: 31  FIGURE 5.25. Week 5 Project: Mango Jello.  139  Artist: Gaelan Knoll Title: ...recharging... Posted: 5/19/2008 11:22 PM Views: 29  FIGURE 5.26. Recharging.  140  Gaelan Knoll’s Week 5 response was to Opti’s image of the batteries from the Week 2 project (Figure 5.26). Gaelan Knoll posted two versions of the hanging cell phone for this image. In interviews, Gaelan Knoll acknowledged that he(she) revealed his(her) identity to Opti and that they were close friends. Haine Walker’s Week 5 response was to Opti’s image of the sideways violin (Figure 5.27). In interviews, Haine Walker indicated that he (she) did not know who Opti was in person. Haine Walker described how, upon seeing the saxophone in the grass, she referred to Opti’s image from memory to make her own interpretation. Mr. John Charles: Did you think of his image when you saw the saxophone on the grass, did you think of Opti’s image first or after you took the picture? Haine Walker: Opti’s image is like an image by itself outside on the street. This is actually my friend’s saxophone and she left it on the grass for awhile because she needed to go get something. And I was like, hey an instrument by itself on the grass and that reminds me of Opti’s. And I was like oh, that would be a good response. So I took a picture.  Artist: Haine Walker Title: Music Reflects the Musician. Posted: 5/18/2008 4:11 PM Views: 28  FIGURE 5.27. Music Reflects the Musician.  141  Sophie Lee responded to Mango Jello’s image of ice cream from the Week 2 project (Figure 5.28). Sophie Lee and Mango Jello were close friends outside of the site, and had taken multiple photography courses together. The diagonal technique that Sophie is referring to was from feedback that I posted about Mango Jello’s image describing the differences between static and dynamic compositions and the emotions that can be conveyed.  Artist: Sophie Lee Title: Week 5 project. Posted: 5/20/2008 10:37 PM Views: 29  FIGURE 5.28. Week 5 Project: Sophie Lee. 142  WEEK 5 ANALYSIS There were two threads that I interpreted from the Week 5 iteration. The first was how the participants came to respond to each other’s works. Of those interviewed about the project, most, including me, described how we had encountered a situation that connected to our memories of the other participant’s images. Perhaps this prompting was brought about by the need to create a response to someone else’s image, or it was that at some level of our consciousness (Donald, 2001), we were searching for patterns of commonalities from our encounters with each other’s images. It can be thought of as a distributed cognition, one in which groups know together, as a collective (Bloom, 2000; Hutchins, 2000; Kelly, 1994; Lévy,1997). This shifted attention towards the knowledge of the collective as a source for further artistic inquiry. Sophie Lee remarked that this was an opportunity to incorporate her peers’ ideas into her own artworks. This constraint was permission to explicitly incorporate her own ideas with ideas she admired. Rather than discouraging us from copying others’ work, the constraint served as an acknowledgement that in art we can learn from looking at each other’s work, by playing and elaborating with each other’s ideas (Wilson, 2004). Mr. John Charles: How have you liked the weekly projects? Sophie Lee: The weekly projects are fun, it actually got me thinking a lot about life. I would be in class and start thinking about what makes other people happy. I am constantly thinking of things and composing images in my head of any possible ideas. My favorite project would be week 5 project. I really like how we can incorporate our own ideas with other people's artwork. I think that is really awesome. Sometimes it makes me sad that others have thought of such great ideas I couldn't think of and this project gives me the chance to use my own style and remake an artwork of the similar idea. The second thread to emerge was the ways in which images were chosen. There was the obvious trend of picking your friend’s image, and there were also instances of not picking your friend’s image. For example, Mango Jello chose Opti’s image of tomatoes from Week 2. Mango Jello, who had had over two years of photography course work, chose Opti’s, who had had no prior photography training. In an interview, Mango Jello was able to describe a difference between the idea and how the ideas were represented in his image. That is, she recognized that, in her own judgment, there needed to be more clarity to the image, yet was still able to appreciate the ideas she interpreted in the image. Of all the images chosen, Opti’s were responded to the most. He received three responses to six of his images posted, out of a possible 293. One was from someone who knew his physical identity, and two were from participants who did not. No 143  participants chose any one of the 25 images I had posted to that point, which put to rest my anxieties of being a causal influence in terms of my own art making. Overall, there seemed to be such a positive response in terms of participation rates that the teacher participants and I thought we would have everyone post a context-sensitive constraint, in the form of question or prompt for everyone else to inquire through.  WEEK 6 INTRODUCTION The Week 6 project continued with the same conjecture from Week 5: to have a curriculum that had self-organizing properties or was autopoietic. Of course, in collaboration with the teacher participants, I was the one who was setting up the constraint and even giving examples. However, Week 6 offered an opportunity to see if we could, as a collective, provide openings for each other through self-generated constraints. In other words, what would happen if we each posted a constraint for any of us to respond and inquire through? This was the prompt as posted on the site: Now this might be the most difficult or easiest project yet. It all depends on your perspective. It consists of two parts, the first is to come up with a project for us to do and second to respond to someone else's' project prompt or question. Step 1- Post a question or project for us to complete. The question or project should challenge us to think and to see our world differently. It could be a big question like past projects or it could be something as simple as a scavenger hunt. You want to get us to look at our world differently. Here are some examples (use these as inspiration but please don't respond to them in Step 2). -If you were to be struck blind tomorrow, what photograph would you make that shares with us how you see the world. -Make a photograph that could have this as its caption: "Is this camera telling the truth?" -Create a video that shows transformation. -Photograph a scar and write the story behind it. These are just some examples of what you could ask us to do. You can post more than one if you'd like. I know that I haven't set due dates on this site in the past, but for this project to work we need you to post a project question or prompt by WEDNESDAY NIGHT. This is so that we can do Step 2 over the weekend.  144  Step 2- Choose one (or more, or all of them!) of the posted project questions or prompts to respond to. Post your image or video response and in the description list what project post you were responding to. Here are the participants’ posted constraints, in the order that they were posted on the site for the Week 6 project: Haine Walker: I hope we're supposed to post part one here. Anyways, we're supposed to come up with a project, so my idea is to take pictures (or videos) of what you believe is hurtful to one's happiness that happens in daily life. It could go from a picture of two people whispering in each other's ears, showing that they're gossiping or someone looking in the mirror and hating how they look. And when you post up your picture or video, it'd be cool if you could write in a simple (positive) solution to all of it. Example, for the gossip, you could write, "Ignore the drama and it will pass," or something like that. Or for the mirror example, you could write something like, "Don't fall for what the perfect body is supposed to look like,". Or something like that! Anything you believe is hurting one's happiness and the simple solution! :D Gaelan Knoll: Everyone has a unique view of the world. We all see things differently and have different opinions. Some people have strong opinions and their views are special in that they truly believe in what they think. My prompt is to find a person (anyone) that you feel has special views of the world that would be interesting to make a picture of. For example, they might see bad in everything, they see food in everything, or they see art pieces in everything....it's really broad, but create a photo shows the world through their point of view. I also think it would be really cool if we could photo manipulate photos for this project. For example, if the person I pick sees the world as their playground I would take a picture of the mall, and a picture of a playground, and insert a jungle gym into the middle of the mall, or something like that. If it's not possible to do this, a photograph of the world through someone else's eyes would be neat too I imagine. Mango Jello: The project I came up with is to take macro pictures of anything you can find.... but take the picture in a way that people will have to guess what it is. stormy: My idea is for you to take a picture or create a video to give inanimate objects a human emotion. For example, what does a sad tomato look like? Or a happy teapot. Has anyone seen this ad for an ikea lamp? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFztDZRtplw  145  Opti: Wow, i was so stumped by this week's project. But i finally found something! (i hope...) As i was at Save-on-foods, i was buying some nutella... and it was expensive! About $8 a jar! This inspired me for this weeks project. I believe our lives are very precious and much more easy than those people in third-world countries. In other words, we are a lot more fortunate than those who struggle with life everyday. I think we should take the time to appreciate how lucky we are. For example, to be able to go to school, have the opportunity to have a job, stay in a well-built house, drink fresh, clean water, and to buy luxury items are all things that we probably take for granted. So, my idea is to take a picture of something meaningful/important that you take or may take for granted. Lucy MaGee: I've been thinking about how small actions have a ripple effect on the world and result in larger, more significant events in other's lives. How something that we may not think about for more than a second has an impact on our community, country, or world. With your photos or video show us something that is nearly a daily event in your life but will impact someone else's on a larger scale in a chain of events or a single image. Jean Valjean: Although most objects in your life just gives you temporary happiness but there are object that you own that brings you more than just temporary happiness. So my question is: what is an object to you that is more than just an ordinary object for you. Take a photo of it or make a video." Sophie Lee: Inspired by week 1 and 2's project and Haine's question, my question for this week's project is "Can money really buy happiness?" There's no right answer to this question, it depends on how you look at it. It is also a very controversial matter, some people say it can, others argue it cannot. So tell us your answer through a photograph. It could be anything like a poor family living in a very small and damaged house with big smiles on their faces sitting in a big circle talking. Another example could be showing a very miserable girl with tons of shopping bags in the background. Milo Fishie: As time passes on, I look back and realize how much a person can change through life experiences and the decisions we make. I know that I don't want to forget what I was like in the past but sometimes the memories just run away. So my topic is... If you were to take a photo/video to show the future you (around 80-90 years old) what was meaningful to you or what you were like, what kind of picture would you take? Mr. John Charles: Post a photograph or video of a place or a visual metaphor of a place that is important to the story of who you are. This place can be somewhere far away or close to home (just don't make it home to 146  project your anonymity), it can be somewhere you go to often or have only been to once, as long as it is important to you.  In each participant’s post, there were associations with ideas from prior encounters in this curriculum. There were the questions that addressed happiness, like those of Haine Walker, Jean Valjean, and Sophie Lee; and there were the ones around our actions, perspectives, and our environment, like the prompts offered by Gaelan Knoll and Lucy MaGee. There were also the themes of looking closely, as in Mango Jello’s prompt; of dealing with identity, as in Milo Fishie’s, and of issues of place, as in mine. For the most part, one could trace each idea embodied in these prompts to earlier questions and posted images. The only really conceptual constraint in the Week 6 prompt itself was that the question or prompt had to challenge us to see the world differently through our artistic inquiry. Simply, it had to reference what we already knew, our prior actualities, and ask for us to engage in the reshaping of how we interpret both prior and possible actualities. Milo Fishie and stormy’s prompts could be traced to having to create a metaphorical self-portrait as a profile picture; the prompts of Haine Walker, Jean Valjean, and Sophie Lee could be traced to the earlier inquiries into happiness; those of Opti and Lucy MaGee into issues of sustainability that were brought up in discussions; that of Mango Jello, to her personal inquiry into looking closely; and that of Gaelan Knoll into his (her) interest in a multiplicity of world views. Each participant, through this new and socially mediated experience, was both referencing prior actualities and creating new ones shaped through engagement with the collective’s knowledge system. Opti’s prompt elicited the most responses: five. stormy’s prompt was the second most responded to, with four, and Mango Jello and Lucy MaGee both elicited two. In this week’s prompt I responded to each prompt and also changed my profile image to reflect a change in how I perceived my role in the collective.  147  Artist: Haine Walker Title: water Description: Week 6- This is a response to Opti's idea of taking a picture of something meaningful/ important that we take for granted. What I think we take for granted alot is water. So many people drink pop, soda, coffee, etc. And even though those things have water in them, people don't stop to think where'd they be without it. I took this by tipping a cup of water upside down. I edited the brightness/contrast a bit in photoshop, but that's it. Posted: 5/24/2008 Views: 29  FIGURE 5.29. Water.  148  Artist: Mango Jello Title: Week 6 Project[2] Description: Something that is important, but is always taken for granted- running water [Opti's Project] Posted: 5/24/2008 Views: 36  FIGURE 5.30. Mango Jello’s Response to Opti’s Prompt.  149  Artist: stormy Title: fading light Description: I am responding to the project where we are supposed to take a picture of something we take for granted. Electricity and energy....Light. Posted: 5/30/2008 Views: 18  FIGURE 5.31. stormy’s Response to Opti’s Prompt.  150  Artist: Sophie Title: Paper. Description: paper is something i feel we take for granted. paper is something that isn't exactly expensive and so we tend to waste a lot of them. just think how many trees need to be cut down for this... soo recycling the paper is always a good idea! Posted: 5/26/2008 6:40 PM Views: 19  FIGURE 5.32. Sophie’s Week 6 Response to Opti’s Prompt.  151  Artist: Mr. John Charles Title: TAKE FOR GRANTED Description: This image is in response to Opti's prompt. My first idea was fresh water, which is something I am always taking for granted. Then I thought what would I do with out the Internet!? I always find myself "cut off" from the world when I don't have an Internet connection. In fact sometimes it feels like I'm missing a limb or a sensory function. Posted: 5/25/2008 8:29 PM Views: 14  FIGURE 5.33. TAKE FOR GRANTED.  152  Artist: Sophie Lee Title: fix me please, will you? Description: this is a response to stormy's project - taking a picture to give inanimate objects a human emotion. i was going through my shelf, and i see this car model... i looked at it and thought the headlights looked like eyes ... so i thought about stormy's project Posted: 5/26/2008 6:40 PM Views: 17  FIGURE 5.34. Fix Me Please, Will You?.  153  Artist: Mr. John Charles Title: NIGHT CHAIR Description: In response to Stormy's prompt. I choose this image of the chair because like the lamp in the Ikea commercial certain objects are anthropomorphic (having human characteristics). Having dramatic lighting helps too! This is a moody image... what mood does it suggest for you? Posted: 5/25/2008 8:28 PM Views: 18  Artist: Opti Title: Roomy Description:Well, this picture was actually taken by my friend on my camera and i thought it was perfect for Stormy's idea about giving inanimate objects emotions. Instead, this picture focuses on a whole picture rather than just one object. You can interpret the point of view from the garden on the outside, or the darkened room in the foreground. Posted: 6/1/2008 10:51 PM Views: 9  Artist: Lucy MaGee Title: Where's Hariette? - Week 6 Posted: 5/26/2008 10:00 PM Views: 17  FIGURE 5.35. Responses To Stormy’s Week Six Prompt.  154  Artist: Sophie Lee Title: Macro 2 Description: another macro picture Posted: 5/26/2008 6:40 PM Views: 25  FIGURE 5.36 Response To Mango Jello’s Week Six Prompt.  155  Artist: Mr. John Charles Title: ABSTRACTION MACRO 2 Description: In response to Mango's macro prompt... Posted: 5/25/2008 8:28 PM Views: 15  FIGURE 5.37. Abstraction Macro 2.  156  Artist: Jean Valjean Title: littering Description: this image is in response lucy's week 6 part 1. I was thinking for a long time but didn't have anything until one day i was walking and i saw a guy in front of my holding a empty bottle in his hand. As i continued to walk he drop the bottle on the ground and kept on walking but when i slowly came closer to the bottle i remember a discussion i read last night about something that we do in a second but has a effect on us and the environment so i decided to do littering btw i recycle the bottle in the end. ^^ Posted: 5/27/2008 9:04 PM Views: 11  FIGURE 5.38. Littering.  157  Artist: Mr. John Charles Title: HIDDEN ECONOMY Description:This image is in response to Lucy's prompt. I find myself drinking a lot of bottled water even though I know this is not a sustainable environmental practice... Although one thing I noticed when I moved here to Vancouver was how recyclable bottles had value and in many ways support a whole economy and way of life for many people. It's so apparent that the city started putting little racks on the outsides of trash cans to place your bottles so independent collectors didn't have to dig through the trash. What would happen if no one used recyclable materials that could be collected and refunded? What would happen to this hidden economy? Posted: 5/25/2008 8:29 PM Views: 7  FIGURE 5.39. Hidden Economy.  158  Artist: Gaelan Knoll Title: Sparkling Inspiration Description: Well, this is my response to Mr. John Charles' prompt- to take a photo of a place that is important to the story of who you are. The art room is by far the most important place in my life. It's where I was first introduced to this dizzying world of art, and its where I've spent countless hours drawing, painting, and improving myself. I feel a connection to this room-there's a warmth in here that I can't find anywhere else. When I don't feel like going home, I head for the art room. When I feel like being alone, I head for the art room. When I feel drained and out of energy, this is the place to go. I don't know whether its the colourful, worn supplies, the light coming in from the windows, the sound of birds hanging out outside in the courtyard, or the strangely familiar atmosphere..I always feel at home in this room. I can honestly say that I love this roomand I'm glad I've been given the chance to show my views! I took a picture of the...uhm...supply corner...this one of the most useful areas of this room for me, it has eeeeverything! Posted: 5/28/2008 8:52 PM Views: 10  FIGURE 5.40. Sparkling Inspiration.  159  Week 6 Project and my new Self-Portrait This has been an intense weekend of art making, one that I haven't had in a loooong time! I gave myself the challenge of respond to each prompt in part one and I think I got them all. I was challenged to think about my life in ways that I haven't in a while, wow. Since I feel like I've kind of changed through the process I'm changing my self portrait from resource/tech-support/ manager of this site to an active artist. This stencil of a photographer is by a graffiti artist that I found in London last summer.  Figure 5.41. Profile Switch. A blog post on my switch of profile pictures after the Week 6 project. I decided to do this because I wanted to respond to each participant’s prompt. Through this process of working through their questions I became aware of a shift in my own role, into more of a co-participant than resource or teacher for them. Participants were asking me less and less technical questions, looking proportionately less at my own responses to the weekly project, and they seemed, in my own estimation, quite independent. Because of this perceived identity shift, I changed my metaphorical selfportrait to an image that represented myself as a photographer. Included here is the blog post that I wrote explaining my decision to change my profile picture.  160  WEEK 6 ANALYSIS There were three threads that I interpreted from my analysis at the time, and from interviews. First was an excitement and pleasure, on the part of the student participants, in engaging with participants’ ideas. Second was an excitement on the part of the teacher participants, but also a hesitation to consider doing this kind of inquiry in their classrooms. Third was the forming of a network hub, meaning that Opti’s ideas were being responded to proportionately more than anyone else's. The act of engaging directly and meaningfully with another participant’s ideas was pleasurable, and stood in contrast to the types of art inquiry described by the student participants wherein the focus of inquiry would be around producing images that exhibited the use of an element or principle of design. Here, Mango Jello discusses why she enjoyed working on the Week 6 project. Mr. John Charles: What did you think about the week six project? Where there were two parts. Mango Jello: Oh yeah, I liked it. Because a lot of people had different ideas like that I would have never really thought about and it makes you kind of think more about… just like how you are going to do it and what you’re going to take pictures of. Mr. John Charles: And is that different from how you usually work? Mango Jello: Well, before in photo class, to take pictures I would just usually take them to get it done. Because there is so much to do and there wasn’t really like my pictures because we had to do the assignments and stuff. Like if we got a roll of film, they would be my pictures because we just had to do certain like techniques. But then some of the techniques I don’t really like. Mango Jello’s description of her experience in art class is an example of what Olivia Gude (2004) described as her experiences of art curriculum in kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) settings. When visiting K-12 school art programs, I rarely see meaningful connections being made between these formal descriptors and understanding works of art or analyzing the quality of everyday design. I ponder the piles of exercises on line, shape, or color harmonies left behind by hundreds and hundreds of students each year. I wonder why what is still considered by many to be the appropriate organizing content for the foundations of 21st century art curriculum is but a shadow of what was modern, fresh, and inspirational 100 years ago. (p. 6)  161  Mango Jello found that, in contrast to her prior experience of art education, the opportunity to engage with her peers’ ideas was meaningful. Recalling Sophie Lee’s statement, the act of mashing up other participants’ knowledge with your own was a way to produce meaning through art. Even though Mango Jello was responding to her peers’ ideas and images, she felt that her resulting work was hers and not someone else’s—it was something altogether new. Opti also described the Week 6 project as something that he had enjoyed. For him, having the opportunity to choose starting points for artistic inquiry was far more desirable than the previous weekly projects that attempted to allow for a wide range of possibilities. Opti pointed out that no matter how open or inquiry-based the context sensitive constraints were, they had still come from one interpretive frame: mine. Mr. John Charles: What was your favorite project? Opti: Oh, I would say the one where you had to … I think it was week six. The one where you had to contribute a post and people would post upon it. I liked that one. Mr. John Charles: And why did you like doing that? Opti: I guess because there are so many to choose from, you’re not limited, not to say the weekly projects are limiting, but it kind of allows more freedom. Yeah, it’s kind of interesting to see the different posts for each one of these. It is important to consider the perspectives of the teacher participants when it came to these kinds of curricula designs. Both of the teacher participants who responded to both parts of the Week 6 prompt, stormy and Lucy MaGee, had insights into the causal influences and possibilities for why the Week 6 project created a rich diversity of ideas and responses. stormy was impressed at the level of thinking represented in the ideas by the student participants, yet she was not surprised for a number of reasons. The first was that she understood the context in which these ideas arose. The fact we were engaging with big ideas around life, meaningfulness, engagement, sustainability, and happiness was bound to show up in their prompts, according to stormy. The second reason behind stormy’s understanding of how such a thoughtful quality to the prompts arose was due to the type of participants who were thoughtful in their art making already. Mr. John Charles: And the week six project, what did you think about some of the ideas that some of the participants came up with? stormy: I was amazed by the ideas. I just thought they were so thoughtful and um, just really... well thoughtful is the first word that comes to mind. It is  162  like they put a lot of consideration into it. And also they weren’t just thinking of something on a superficial level. There is way more to it then, you know? Mr. John Charles: Why do you think that was? Why do you think that happen? stormy: I think probably it was instigated by the initial concept of the whole… like where we were talking about ‘happiness’ and euphoria and sort of looking at the different levels of it. And I think that probably helped to get students looking at their photos in sort of a multilevel fashion. I think that is probably part of it. And I think we also had some exceptional students working on the assignments. So I think that was, so students who are already very talented and who are already probably are very thoughtful in their art making. Mr. John Charles: Would you say that you get to see that kind of thoughtfulness from your students often? stormy: Those same ones will always sort of rise to the occasion. You know when I am thinking of an assignment, I always know that I don’t worry about those kids, because no matter what it is, they will take it to whatever level they can. And it’s always the kids that are kind of right in the middle that I kind of worry about, because you want something to engage sort of the rest of the class. Cause the high level kids, “draw an apple” and they are still just like. “oh, how am I going to draw that apple? How am I going to make my apple better than everyone else’s? How can I make it stand out, unique… I think that is the kind of students that are making these responses. Lucy MaGee, like stormy, was very impressed and surprised at the level of thinking represented in the student participant responses. When asked whether she had ever tried something like this in her own teaching, Lucy MaGee expressed that it had not been an easy experience. The difficulty, according to Lucy MaGee, was in the open discussion, of having students share their ideas publicly, in real time. When one feasible idea was put forward, the class, in her words, “clammed up.” Mr. John Charles: What did you think about the type of responses that were put up by the students? Lucy MaGee: I thought that they were great ideas actually, it, really matured ideas. So again I wasn’t sure who were students and who weren’t from that. Because some of the ideas I was surprised that maybe a student would have come up with that. Mr. John Charles: Do you think you’d ever try that with one of your classes? Lucy MaGee: I have tried it before, where they kind of … I asked them to come up with the project. The classes we have like an open discussion about what we are going to do next. Mr. John Charles: Can you talk more about that? Lucy MaGee: Ah, well… what I have had happen as soon as the first idea is thrown out there nobody wants to give any other suggestion. I am not sure if 163  they don’t want to step on someone else’s idea or they are intimidated to give an idea that’s different. But as soon as there’s one idea out there they kind of all clam up. And so with practice that would get better I am sure. I don’t know why that happens. One of the possible differences between what was happening on our social network and what had happened in her own experience teaching was the ability for students to post without the same kinds of embodied emotions associated with speaking up in a class. One of the advantages to using a social network is that embodied emotional feedback is not readily accessible. The student participants in this study were very aware of, and sensitive to, the social structures that they navigate daily. As will be shown in Chapter 7, the perception of what one’s own position is in a social structure affects the level of participation. The social network may offer a space where those real-time classroom social structures can be shifted. The difference might possibly be in the qualities of relations on online settings. This idea is explored more in Chapter 7. For whatever reason, Opti’s ideas were a significant hub in terms of the attention and associations they were getting in Weeks 5 and 6. Here, the metaphor of hubs draws from understandings of decentralized, scale-free, networks. In decentralized networks, hubs gain links and associations in proportionately greater numbers than do other nodes in the network (Barabási & Albert, 1999; Barabási, 2003; Watts, 2003). I was interpreting an orientation in inquiry around a few clusters of ideas that centered around the ideas of one participant. In complex dynamic systems, causality is not an unidirectional arrow, and the overlapping and dynamic architecture of these systems supports and unfolds in similar ways. Clay Shirky (2003) writes about how, with the proliferation of any communicative collective space, such as the Weblogs (blogs) in the early 2000s, there was a widely touted perception that this was a “democratic” and equal space where anyone’s voice could be heard by anyone else. While this was, in principle, true in the sense that anyone could set up a blog and that anyone with an Internet connection and the blog’s address could read it, it was not how the Web actually unfolded (Barabási, 2003). Instead, the Web is really distributed as unequally as are most distributions of unregulated, dynamic scale-free networks. When plotted, it correlates along a power-law distribution. Barabási’s (2003) research showed that links beget links and views beget views according to a dynamic of preferential attachment. In the beginning of blogs, the distribution of readers was spread fairly equally. However, as the blogosphere grew, as 164  certain influential readers and blogs began linking with one another, and as recommendations and reviews began to orient readers towards certain Weblogs, the dynamic of preferential attachment kicked in. The result: there are a few heavily read blogs and a disproportionate amount of blogs that are read by far fewer readers. This is where the expression “the rich get richer” rings true. What if, as I was interpreting in this study, this is what happens in classrooms? I went into the following week’s project with a heightened sense of the attention that Opti was garnering. I did not see this as something detrimental, because his ideas around sustainability and the kinds of inquiry he was inspiring were positive; however, I was sensing that there were many other images and ideas, also of significant merit, that were not being attended to.  WEEK 7 In Week 7, the constraint was designed to redistribute attention. It asked participants to go back into the images produced, and this time to engage with them by organizing them. At this point in the study there were almost 400 images posted to the social network site. Week 7 asked participants to act as a curator—to select a related body of images around a theme of their choosing. The thinking here was to ask them to reexamine the collective system of knowledge with a different interpretive frame. Here is how the Week 7 project was posted on the site: This week's project is a little different in that you won't be creating work, you'll be organizing it by creating an album. Curators are the folks who choose, organize, and put together art exhibitions in places like the Vancouver Art Gallery. For this week you're going to be a curator where you will organize a thematic exhibition of other participants' art works. A thematic exhibition is a group of artworks made by different artists that explores an idea, emotion, or style. You'll organize this exhibition into an album on our site. 1) You can start with your favorite images made by someone else (is there a common theme, story, emotion, or style?). Or, you can come up with your own theme, emotion, or style and search for work that uses your selected theme. Don't use your own work, you're the curator- meaning that your creative work is to select and organize artworks! 2) An easy way to organize your search is to tag the images that you want to include with a keyword that fits your theme. For example, if you are doing an album about Micro Worlds, you might want to tag images with the label 165  microworlds. That tag can be used as a keyword search when you go to assemble your album of images. 3) Build your album. The instructions on the Make an Album page are pretty straightforward. Let me know if you need help. 4) Make sure you title the album. Think of a creative title which describes the ideas your selections are exploring. Here are the last five exhibition titles that curators came up with at the Vancouver Art Gallery. KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art Canadian Women Modernists: The Dialogue with Emily Carr Truth Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945 The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre Classified Materials: Accumulations, Archives, Artists 5) Write a short description introducing the album and what the theme of the selection is about. Here's a description from the latest show KRAZY! at the VAG now: "Krazy! The Delirious World Of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art is the first exhibition of its kind, a groundbreaking project that offers unique and dynamic insight into the world of comics,animated cartoons, anime, manga, graphic novels, computer/video games and visual art. Spanning a century of artmaking, the works in this exhibition reveal an extraordinary history of production, one that is poised to redefine the scope of visual culture in the 21st century." 6) Make sure you consider the sequence/ order the images go, think of them like pages from a book.  Participants who responded to the