Visual methods in an affective arts educational research

Silvia de Riba Mayoral, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain 

The video-poster presented in this conference is part of the PhD thesis: Learning trough becoming: young learning in a feminist perspective of the affective pedagogy which is still a work in progress. Thereby, this communication is not looking for conclusions but it is about opening new questions on how visual methods can provide evidences in an affective arts educational research. Considering art as the language of sensations (Deleuze and Guattari, 1996) the concept of affect introduced by Spinoza and developed in the affective turn during the nineties has an important role in conceiving visual methods for educational research and art education. In fact, affect has the capacity to transform methodologies at the same time as onto-epistemologies.
In conceptualize a research approach based on affect, visual methods allow to explore learning processes by taking account subjective realities and its relations with all the elements of the learning context. Using visual methods allows to examine the learning process in a way that language and numbers could not achieve. Visual methods as an affective dispositive seems a way to think in a different manner what a research process could be. A process which can provide transparent, transferable and significant knowledge about learning processes of young people.

Keywords: visual methods, affect, affective pedagogy,

Link to the video



ART4DEM: artistic methods for citizenship education

Bob Selderslaghs, Royal Conservatoire, AP University College Antwerp; Nele Willems; AP University College Antwerp; Janna Beck, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (AP University College) Antwerp; Ski De Keersmaecker, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (AP University College);Sara Pieters, Royal Conservatoire (AP University College) Antwerp: Britt Dehertogh, AP University College; Marion Schrijvers, AP University College. 

Link to the Video
ART4DEM is a Belgian multidisciplinary research project that explores new ways of working on civic education by means of artistic methods (drama and media). Citizenship education in primary and secondary schools faces tough challenges. Despite the persistently low scores for democratic attitudes among pupils (Franck, Elchardus & Kavadias, 2009; Hooghe & Claes, 2017), the world of education is struggling with its approach (Kavadias & Dehertogh, 2010). Schools, for example, give varying meanings to citizenship and many work on it only sporadically. Moreover, research points to the gap between young people according to their level of education and social background (Hooghe & Claes, 2017), which is particularly evident in urban areas. Some authors therefore stress the importance of new forms of civic education that are more in line with the living environment and participation wishes of children and young people (Lawy & Biesta, 2006; de Winter, 2015).  Moreover, schools are asking for an intra-muros offer (Kavadias & Dehertogh, 2010).
ART4DEM is setting up an experiment in six primary and secondary schools. The experiments include two forms of drama (Mantle of the Expert and participatory drama) and a visual interactive method (Interactive Design). Qualitative and quantitative research will be carried out into what the programme implies for all those involved (pupils, teachers, school policy), what the influence is on democratic skills, attitudes and behaviour among pupils and on the democratic school culture.
ART4DEM wants to develop new ways of working for citizenship education with the help of the arts. At the same time, the project focuses on the indoor professionalisation of teachers in learning to work with these methods. The project reinforces teachers in a changing context with an innovative and participatory trajectory.

keywords: citizenship education: artistic methods;  urban context



From Political Conflicts to Buddhist Aloofness: Cheng Cheng-Huang’s Visual Narratives
SHEI-CHAU WANG;  Northern Illinois University;  USA

Abstract: Cheng Cheng-Huang (CCH) has explored his potential in painting, drawing, and printmaking since he started to major in Western art at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei in late 1980s. Before the lifting of martial law in Taiwan (1949-1987), he chose politically sensitive agendas as the topics of his art works to express his concerns, angers, and sense of helplessness about Taiwan, his native country. Many of these works, however, were not accepted by the political authority, and thus were not able to be exhibited, especially in the sensitive transitional era in the early to 1990s. To survive as an artist with very limited opportunities exhibiting his art, he drove taxi and made comic strips as side jobs. As a Taipei taxi driver, he observed his passengers, learned their life stories, created imaginary characters for his comic narratives, and then transferred these stories into his quest to develop a series of existential questions about the chaos of life. He collected fragments of the images to present his visual narrative over a period of time. He started to study Buddhism about the same period to examine these chaotic life changes. His experimental works about social justice to Buddhist concepts, such as the significance of suffering in the floating world, the quest for self-knowledge and internal peace, and the enlightenment of eternity, led him to look into his inner self, a reflective process of art-making that has become a therapy for him that helped him escape from the realities. From this process, CCH discovered that the best method was woodcutting: he incised images into inked wooden panels, leaving the natural wood colors to symbolize uncertainties in nature and society. He also personalizes pop-cultural icons/images and combines them with traditional Chinese landscapes in many-layered, spiritually meditative, and surreal compositions that invite viewers to the impossibly difficult task of self-reflection, a constant pursuit of Buddhist spirituality in the floating world. CCH’s recent works, “A Familiar Strange Land” series, show his interpretation of Buddhist concepts of universe where imaginary spaces can be explored through eyes. This series contains many visual narratives that not only exceed cultural boundaries but can also be shown in all levels of art classrooms. This presentation will provide possible uses of CCH’s works for teaching.

keywords: Contemporary Art, Spirituality, Buddhism, Social Justice, Visual Narratives


Link to the Video


A Vila do Mañá / The city of tomorrow": Education, art and architecture with children at risk
Sandra González Álvarez (PØSTarquitectos; España), Diego Trincado Sandá

"A Vila do Mañá" is an educational and outreach project whose goal is that, using play as a tool, children become aware of all the scales of the common: tangible and intangible heritage, architecture, urbanism and the landscape. It is necessary that childhood be actively present in the processes of construction of the common space (square, neighbourhood, city ...), For this, it is essential that they discover and know the value of their environment; At the same time, it is necessary to provide them with tools to develop their creativity, from art and architecture. The objective is to provoke in them the awakening of a new look on the spaces in which they develop their life and discover, from the architectural discipline, a new vision of the city, a vision that will bring us who will be the inhabitants of tomorrow. To work with children and to understand and transform their environment, we rely on art and architecture strategies. Our transformation tools will be the POINT, LINE and THE PLANE (based on Kandinsky); which we will add the THREE-DIMENSIONAL ELEMENT, rethinking the "gifts" of the Froebel learning process. The children will tell us what their city is like, through a large golden frame, like the artist Lorraine O'Grady did. They will work with the human scale and its relationship with the city, based on the experiences of Yves Klein. Their perception of the closest environment will be modified, using the phenomenon of "defamiliarization" of Viktor Shklovski. The last workshop of “A Vila do Mañá” took the leap from Europe to America, specifically to São Paulo, in Brazil. “A Vila do Mañá” is a project in constant evolution. While the workshops developed in European territory sought children to take the city, make it theirs, invade it and therefore to OCCUPY it; In São Paulo, we worked with the most vulnerable groups: the children who lived in an "OCUPAÇÃO" / occupation. We will explain the meaning of occupation: both buildings and land: it is the strategy used by social housing movements to denounce the lack of housing policy and claim the right to decent housing. In addition to political pressure, many of the occupations are consolidated, remaining in place, constantly looking for the reform of the building, making possible the definitive housing for the families that live there. The occupations are made up of working families, young students ... they pay light bills, water ... and the organized housing movements charge a monthly contribution value for such expenses and for the maintenance of the building, like a formal condominium The children of the occupation “9 de Julho" are in constant risk of social exclusion and live a reality very different from those with which we had previously worked, that is why "A Vila do Mañá" seeks in this situation not the OCCUPATION of the space and its appropriation, which is something that has already happened and is happening at all times in its environment, if not the VISIBILIZATION of this occupation, of the reality that these children live and in general is alien to even the closest neighbours of the street or the neighbourhood where the occupation is located. The workshop held with these children has provided visibility to their circumstances and to the occupation act itself as an element of modification and appropriation of a place, making it known throughout its city through the media and bringing under the spotlight so that the university, political and social spheres show interest in this situation.

Link to the video