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Title:DigArts: a case study of digital visual culture, teenagers, and tensions in the third space
Author(s):Olson, Brad Matthew
Director of Research:Stake, Robert E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Duncum, Paul A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Castro, Juan C.; Denmead, Tyler
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Art Education
third space
digital visual culture
new media
Abstract:The concept of the third space has long been an area of interest for educational researchers, particularly those within Art Education. In prior literature, the informal art learning experiences of youth are demonstrated to have close ties to elements of popular culture, and often enter subversive, transgressive, and inane territory. In the 21st century, teenagers are spending more and more time online, engaging in the same informal types of play, socialization, learning and art-making as occur IRL (in real life). Because of these issues, some have responded by creating a hybrid “third space” (Staikidis, 2006; Wilson, 2008a; Wilson, 2008b) between formal and informal learning spaces to investigate concepts that do not fit into the rigid structures of the classroom. The third space integrates concepts like playful pedagogy into learning, although the third space is rooted in a discourse of dissent and conflict. Some have also drawn connections between the third space and visual culture produced and consumed by teenagers on the Internet. In the academic world, a few years is not a long time to see findings published in a paper or book. However, the online world changes much more quickly than that, and as a result, teenagers are always occupying new digital realms we are unaware of as researchers. Therefore, this study investigated the nature of online visual culture today and employed a qualitative case study of the tensions that arose in one specific third pedagogical space for tech- savvy teenagers. The DigArts workshop was designed with the third space in mind, to facilitate connections and learning amongst area teenagers. This study finds evidence of the digital visual culture of today’s teenagers, identifies the tensions that arise in the third space, and compares the organic and unpredictable learning in the third space to a rhizomatic structure.
Issue Date:2015-04-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Brad M. Olson
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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