|Theme||| Spirit ∞ Art ∞ Digital ||
If there is one thing for sure that anybody can't resist its coming as real in this contemporary era, we are to say that it is the digital phenomena. The unprecedented velocities of change and ranges of innovation initiated by digital can't be fathomed with easy. To that extent, our society has faced with gigantic wave named as digital, and it encompasses education too. Policies and agendas issued by governments, institutes or individuals in many countries are the examples. Indeed, our students have spent their entire lives from birth surrounded by and using digital gadgets as such computers, smart phones, tablet P.Cs, internet, digital music players, video cams, etc.
This means that our students are well acquainted with digital technology, but also implies that they think and learn differently. As Prensky(2001) puts this generation as 'Digital Natives', our students today are all native speakers of the digital language, and they are so different from 'Digital Immigrants' like us.
Then, what about art class? Are we safe from this grand challenge of digital natives and digital environments? The advent of digital technology has propound ramifications for art education and its practices. It is believed that a new paradigm is coming. In this juncture, dealing with the issue of digital in InSEA has not been the first nor new at all. At least for about 10 years since 2002 New York Congress, issue of digital has been dealt with in terms of media, new technologies, virtual art spaces, etc.
Nevertheless, we can't help but to admit that there is the very needs to deal with such digital issue in full gear. It is because that a full burgeoning of digital in every nook of society as well as education has been giving birth to various meanings and interpretations, possibilities and problems, hopes and anxieties which are beyond our predictions. Where the possibilities of art education and its hyper connectedness should be headed? And is it okay that we embrace such high-tech as bliss of era in art education? What problems and obstacles have been generated with the digital?
As we imagine, the digital reflects contemporary arts and art education environment savvy with high-technology. The digital possibility has de-constructed and re-constructed of ideologies in education along with massive changes. At the same time, such digital has been causing great attentions on the matter of spirituality in art education. When looking back upon its treatment of digital in art education, digital has been dealt with in terms of technology, futuristic competencies, active adaptation to rapid changes of era, etc.
But these aspects reflect the capitalistic approaches to art education on the other hand, it implies that students and competencies are seen from the perspective of capitalism's nuance. In this context, art education is apt to be dealt as a tool not purpose, a capital resources not spirituality and humanity.
With this in mind, the relationship between digital and art education is not just a matter of methodology nor technology, rather it is a matter of spirituality and humanity also. What possibilities and problems does digitally imbued art education make? What roles can art education play in better way with digital? Where can spirituality be in digital in the context of art education? With captivated by such terms as “spirit”, “art” and “digital,” the narratives of coexistence are defining a new zeitgeist and a key formula for survival of art education.