I’d like to share and discuss the follow didactic method we have been operating for some years now.
There are many ways to teach art in the Academies, it depends on the goal to be achieved. In the course of New Technologies of Art and New Media Art, a 3+2 degree at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Naples – Italy, we train young artists that shall work in smart cities and across digital interactive scenarios.
Our learning activity, fairly innovative in Italy, is based on a daily lab life and almost without frontal lessons; all disciplines are merged and teachers and classrooms work on different projects mixed into a single-flow. Our keywords are relationship, interaction, contamination, cross-over between disciplines, teamwork. Furthermore we consider the error as an essential and vital part of the grieving process.
Over five years students grow by expressing, sharing, debating and questioning their ideas and putting them in practice through a spontaneous creation of a network, exactly like it occurs in the Web.
In order to educate the students on digital and connective thought, theory and practice go together throughout the program of study.
Periodical tests in the form of pitch are carried out in the Lab, while more complex artistic projects are often exposed outside of Academy.
This didactic method is frequently applied also for the thesis. For example, in this discussion we’ll show the interactive sculpture Ch’i – Respiro Cosmico (Cosmic Breath), a graduate thesis realized by a collective of grad students in collaboration with many other colleagues of the Lab and recently exposed in Maker Faire Rome.
Ch’i is an Oriental style dragon, bearer of positivity, wisdom and light, and its poetic represents the reincarnation of Yang. However, because an artist is a visionary, he knows that Yang is only a part of the whole. Thus, the creative process must also reveal Yin, a dark side of the life here summarized in a global crisis, at its peak with the migrant’s apocalypse.
The razzle-dazzle dragon sculpture bears a new life, but to do this it needs to be balanced with Yin.
So, Ch’i has an audible breath, a heart visible under the form of a pulsing light and is connected to the Web by the #migrant. When the #migrant flow increases, a sudden shortness of breath occurs while the heart rate rises. When the flow decreases, the whole pulse slows.
Ch’i – Respiro Cosmico, is a receptor of deeper mining and a vehicle of energies. It increases the awareness we live in a shared world.