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Cross-disciplinary tactics are deeply embedded in contemporary culture, yet interdisciplinary pedagogy remains a problematic issue. While key disciplines are brought together in digital arts education, a gap exists between theory and cross-disciplinary practice, between formal education scenarios at academic institutions and the application of rapidly developing media technologies. Critical investigation focused on interdisciplinary pedagogy is a fundamental undertaking for the clarification of the existing situation and strategy development for the future. The panel is designed for academics and digital artists who wish to explore discourses, methodologies and philosophies associated with interdisciplinary approaches as they are applied to pedagogy. There are questions to be explored such as: What are some of the classes being taught in digital culture programs and what would we like to see? How do we understand the spectrum of different kinds of new media (or digital) art today? The panel provides a platform for interdisciplinary pedagogy including investigations through reference to collaborative work between artists and scientists and critical writing on arts/science projects and research. The primary aim of the educational panel is to address the disparity of various tendencies, showcase interdisciplinary and hybrid solutions and provoke a sustainable dialogue on contemporary educational issues between the practitioners in this field.

Theme Leaders:
Cynthia Beth Rubin: cbr@cbrubin.net
Nina Czegledy: czegledy@interlog.com

Cover page of The Loop ... <em>Lifecycle</em>: Empathy and Design for Complex Processes.

The Loop ... Lifecycle: Empathy and Design for Complex Processes.

(2009)

A dynamic pedagogical shift in CCA’s interdisciplinary studio curricula is exemplified by the class: Lifecycle: Empathy and Design for Complex Processes. Within this hybrid design studio environment, the complex interaction between an object and our material and digital environments is addressed through a life-cycle assessment. This was formulated through an analysis of traceable inventories, archives of (i/o) inputs and outputs of industrial, socio-economic and cultural processes that occurs within the life cycle of a selected object. The lifecycle of any object, the path it takes from concept, production, distribution, use, potential reuse, and ultimately as a collectible, e-waste, or landfill is critically demanding by its very nature.

Cover page of Networked Artworks: Complex Connections in New Media Art Education

Networked Artworks: Complex Connections in New Media Art Education

(2009)

This paper draws upon the notion of the networked artwork in order to suggest possibilities for new media art education, informed by research in complexity and systems theory, participatory media, and critical pedagogy.

Cover page of Echoes of Social Presence: A Case Study of A Cross- Disciplinary Pedagogical Experiment

Echoes of Social Presence: A Case Study of A Cross- Disciplinary Pedagogical Experiment

(2009)

This case study reviews the use of an ambient display system, dubbed Echo, for encouraging cross-disciplinary exchange about the design and role of technology systems. The study begins with a review of Echo: from the initial participatory interviews to the reflections and discussions generated by the installation. The second half of the case study analyzes why the experiment succeeded and where it fell short. To answer open questions about the experience, we look to the practice of dialogic aesthetics advanced by Grant Kester. We ask what it would mean to use the concept of the ‘character of exchange’ as a guide for the evaluation and design of cross-disciplinary exchanges.

Cover page of Tinkering with the Archive: Pathways to Conceptual Thought and Digital Practice

Tinkering with the Archive: Pathways to Conceptual Thought and Digital Practice

(2009)

Our aim in nurturing cross-pollination between the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art and the Tinker Factory is to move between the creative and research worlds in new media arts, and to continue to forge innovative, groundbreaking initiatives that will expand our notion of the archive itself and the range of relational artistic interventions in its midst. Parallels between Sound Culture and Connections lays the future conceptual groundwork for cross-disciplinary international ventures where the value of conceptual tinkering with technical and physical tinkering opens the possibilities of inventive research in new media.

Cover page of Exploring the Potential of Computational Self- Representations for Enabling Learning: Examining At-risk Youths' Development of Mathematical/Computational Agency

Exploring the Potential of Computational Self- Representations for Enabling Learning: Examining At-risk Youths' Development of Mathematical/Computational Agency

(2009)

This paper reports on a study conducted within an alternative high school for students evicted from the mainstream and that utilized the virtual world (Teen Second Life or TSL). The use of selfrepresentations in virtual worlds to enable and facilitate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning is a promising endeavor. At the same time, it is not clear how the ability to construct imaginative self-representations can impact students’ abilities to view themselves as STEM learners and doers. Furthermore, questions over whether students should view avatars instrumentally to accomplish virtual tasks, as virtual selves for playful identity construction and performance, or to what degree the avatars should accommodate representing aspects of students’ real selves vs. extraordinary fantastic characters. This paper provides pilot evidence, elicited using grounded theory techniques on data collected in a three-year design-based research study into fostering at-risk students STEM learning. We propose a three-axis model of students’ stances in relationship to their avatars. Using insights from the cognitive science theory of conceptual blending in order to characterize students’ perspectives of their avatars as imaginative integrations of their real and virtual selves, we present a set of case studies illustrating students’ stances in terms of our three axes. The upshot is that students in the study tended to fall into three one of three categories: (1) viewing their avatars as necessarily reflections of their real world identities, (2) viewing their avatars as mere proxies for building artifacts in the world, and (3) viewing avatars as characters external to themselves for engaging in a play of identity performance and presentation. Group (1) found the affordances of TSL to be inadequate, hence serving the needs of this group may require alternative design solutions in light of real world behavior.