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  • Real multiplicities: post-identity and the changing face of arts education
  • Being human is a finite entity, defined by specific qualities, ideals, or characteristics. In Deleuzian terms, the posthuman is a stage of transition, never reaching representation because it is always changing and becoming. This dissertation explores the subjectivity of mostly Canadian, contemporary artists and arts teachers as informed and negotiated by the posthuman. Six secondary and post secondary arts educators submitted artworks and artist statements for this study. Theirs’, and the artworks and responses of David Hoffos, Nancy Paterson, Catherine Richards, David Rokeby, Jana Sterbak, Nell Tenhaaf, and Norman White, through published works, past interviews, and personal websites, have been critically examined. Furthering arts-based research, I have presented some material through a graphic novel format and interpreted findings through my own artistic video response. Identity and post-identity issues have been examined through Lacanian and Deleuzian/Guattarian critical social theories, exploring their affects on arts education. An accompanying website has been created to communicate the study, provide access to required forms, enable communication and collaboration between artists and educators, and provide a final web-based exhibition of the art and results of this study. This arts-based research reveals the shifting desires of participant artists, teachers, and researcher, as desiring machines. It suggests that post-identity structures are located in the psychic Real, which are largely and unethically untapped in current humanist education. While both old and new media are currently used in art making, new forms of visual media advance understandings of identity by revealing how artist and teacher identities are changing with technology, and with the posthuman visual culture in which they negotiate. Art education and visual studies have a vested interest in this visual culture. This is applied to a transformative visual studies curriculum at the teacher education level, where suggested practices will result in a direct impact on curriculum and pedagogy within the general school system as new teachers enter the field. This can bring art education to a place that better fits the heavily visual, cyber savvy society in which our current learning community lives and creates.
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