Tuesday, March 17, 2015
#DietDH reading group has caught up from the last of the winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic area that disrupted the weekly schedule. Today, ‘Tinkering’ is being explored within pedagogy as part of digital scholarship. Jentery Sayers investigates the topics of digital media and collaboration within his essay, Tinker-Centric Pedagogy in Literature and Language Classrooms.
A reference that I related to in Sayer’s essay is the “image of a lone scholar.” He defines a lone scholar from the humanities as using single-authored publications for the production of knowledge. I could relate this concept to my fine art background and ‘lone’ art practice. Sayers does acknowledge the artist and studio-based learning in his essay (pg. 282). I have experience tinkering, beyond pushing traditional fine arts mediums. They include taking storytelling workshops during my graduate studies, so I could experience the narrative in the perspective of vocal instead of visual.
My use of tinkering and collaboration has contributed to my interest in using digital media for my current projects and research. I still think the “lone” scholar or artist is still relevant to the production of knowledge and art. Gender and race are still sparsely represented as well as being integrated into defining scholarship and the art world. The first example that came to mind from the art world is Carrie Mae Weems. In the Winter of 2014 she was the first African American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In this thought process and conversation from last weeks reading group of integrating voices from diverse backgrounds, Sayer does acknowledge the transformation of scholarship from traditional humanities to digital practice.
His argument is that the transformation of scholarship is a slow process and the traditional methods do not disappear, but need to be mobilized. Tinkering offers adaptation, then these adaptations need to be tested, along with social and physical feedback of the process. There is a parallel to these literary concepts within the art world and the studio-based learning process. I am interested in the gray areas between the “lone” artist and collaboration. I am ending this blog post with a couple of questions that can be explored with tinkering within pedagogy and collaboration. How can digital media be used effectively so the public knows of the perspectives from minority groups working with a collaborative project? What has been historically gained from the 1960’s social/ counterculture revolution and can digital media bridge those gaps to the current tensions of gender and race?