INFORMATION TO USERS
This manuscript has been reproduced from the microfilm master. UMI
films the text directly from the o...
Order Number 9311747
Contemporary artists utilizing news media: Appropriation,
criticism, and activism in art education
Wy...
The Pennsylvania State University
The Graduate School
Department of Visual Arts
CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS UTILIZING NEWS MEDIA
...
We approve the thesis of Mary Louise Wyrick.
Date of Signature
lizabeth J. Garber 'Elizabeth J.
Assistant Professor of Art...
ABSTRACT
This study surveyed publications and artworks to analyze
contemporary artists who use news media in conjunction w...
iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES.................... vi
Chapter 1. A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT FOR CHANGE............ 1
New...
V
Chapter 4. A TRANSFORMATIVE PEDAGOGY FOR ART EDUCATION.. 251
News Media in a Transformative Curriculum.......... 251
New...
vi
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE PAGE
1. Jerry Kearns, "Head Spook: William Casey, Director
of the CIA." 1984, Acrylic on acetate...
1
Chapter 1
A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT FOR CHANGE
This study has evolved from my attempts to find how pre­
service elementary ...
News Media, Education, and Art
2
New technologies that today broadcast twenty-four-hour-
a-day news reports have impacted ...
3
wildernesses. While traveling in Yucatan and Chiapas,
Mexico, last summer, I observed numerous apparently
indigenous peo...
4
insights toward critical understanding of how news media can
be used in a curriculum based on empowerment.
Contemporary ...
studies such as Ewens' which question such presentation of
news information to the public.
An underlying assumption I have...
to begin. They need help to identify issues which can
pertain to all subject areas to be taught in the classroom.
In addit...
7
example, have caused contemporary artists, writers, and
performers to rally against censorship. The news media have
prov...
8
Contemporary Curriculum Theory; Challenging Social
Structures in the Classroom
For students to become empowered, they ne...
9
Brazilian workers and United States students are "silenced"
by an approach to education which transmits cultural
knowled...
Research Precedents in Mass Media Education
10
In "Mass culture and the eclipse of reason," Stanley
Aronowitz (1977) ident...
11
people spend more time in front of the television
set than in class— over six hours a day. (p. 151)
Toward Civilization...
12
exploring social relationships and developing alternative
models of human behavior in a quickly changing and, at this
p...
13
need for teaching about mass media:
In relatively few schools or teacher preparation
programs will you find solid teach...
14
foundations for a socially critical art education that goes
beyond study of art as cultural artifact. Beginning with
La...
15
of "fine arts," according to Duncum. The rejection of
popular culture as subject for study does not take into
account t...
16
specifically, news media as sources for their visual
artworks. He also assumes a schism between the "fine" arts
agenda ...
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Contemporary artists utilizing news media: Appropriation,criticism, and activism in art education

  1. 1. INFORMATION TO USERS This manuscript has been reproduced from the microfilm master. UMI films the text directly from the original or copy submitted. Thus, some thesis and dissertation copies are in typewriter face, while others may be from any type of computer printer. The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. Broken or indistinct print, colored or poor quality illustrations and photographs, print bleedthrough, substandard margins, and improper alignment can adversely affect reproduction. In the unlikely event that the author did not send UMI a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if unauthorized copyright material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Oversize materials (e.g., maps, drawings, charts) are reproduced by sectioning the original, beginning at the upper left-hand corner and continuing from left to right in equal sections with small overlaps. Each original is also photographed in one exposure and is included in reduced form at the back of the book. Photographs included in the original manuscript have been reproduced xerographically in this copy. Higher quality 6" x 9" black and white photographic prints are available for any photographs or illustrations appearing in this copy for an additional charge. Contact UMI directly to order. University M icrofilms International A Bell & Howell Information C om p any 3 0 0 North Z e eb R oad. Ann Arbor. Ml 4 8 1 0 6 -1 3 4 6 USA 3 1 3 /7 6 1 -4 7 0 0 8 0 0 /5 2 1 -0 6 0 0 PR EVIEW
  2. 2. Order Number 9311747 Contemporary artists utilizing news media: Appropriation, criticism, and activism in art education Wyrick, Mary Louise, Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, 1992 U M I300 N. Zeeb Rd. Ann Ariror, MI 48106 PR EVIEW
  3. 3. The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School Department of Visual Arts CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS UTILIZING NEWS MEDIA APPROPRIATION/ CRITICISM, AND ACTIVISM IN ART EDUCATION A Thesis in Art Education by Mary Louise Wyrick Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy December 1992 PR EVIEW
  4. 4. We approve the thesis of Mary Louise Wyrick. Date of Signature lizabeth J. Garber 'Elizabeth J. Assistant Professor of Art Education and Women1s Studies Thesis Adviser Co-Chair of Committee wTT cnn 7 ^rent Wilson Professor of Art Education Co-Chair of Committee In Charge of Graduate Program in Art Education Robert Ott Professor of Art Education John*-^. Kissick Assistant Professor of Art PR EVIEW
  5. 5. ABSTRACT This study surveyed publications and artworks to analyze contemporary artists who use news media in conjunction with their artmaking. Artists were grouped in a structure of artmaking practices that focus on news media appropriation, news media criticism, and co-optation of news media for activist purposes. The problem was posed: How should critical and activist strategies be incorporated into the teacher preparation curriculum through study of current events issues and contemporary artists using news media? The study detailed how preservice elementary education majors in an art education methods course effectively integrated art and media criticism, interpretation of contemporary artworks, and study of news media. Preservice teachers observed in the study explored potential applications of the study of contemporary artists who use news media critically to address a range of race, age, gender, and class concerns relevant to classroom teaching. The relevance of criticism and intervention in teacher preparation was discussed through application of transformative curriculum theory. It was concluded that study of critical and activist artistic practices is particularly useful in helping students identify the impact of current events and issues of representation in development of a transformative pedagogy. PR EVIEW
  6. 6. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF FIGURES.................... vi Chapter 1. A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT FOR CHANGE............ 1 News Media, Art, and Education....................... 2 Contemporary Curriculum Theory: Challenging Social Structures in the Classroom....... 8 Research Precedents in Mass Media Education.... 10 Artistic Practices as Subjects for Study in Teacher Preparation.................... 17 The News Media Component of This Study. .... 24 An Introduction to My Process of Research........... 27 Chapter 2. TWENTIETH CENTURY ARTISTS USING NEWSMEDIA: A STRUCTURE FOR UNDERSTANDING ARTMAKING PRACTICES... 34 Socially Responsive Artmaking in the Eighties...... 34 A Proposed Structure for Classification............. 36 Appropriation of Visual News Schemata......... 37 News Media Critique............................. 95 Activist Co-optation of News Media ..... 132 Chapter 3. FROM CRITICAL ANALYSIS TO THE TEACHER PREPARATION CURRICULUM............................... 174 Visual Arts in the Elementary School: "Art Ed 003" The Preservioe Population...................... 175 Components of "Art Ed 003"..................... 176 Research Logs: Writing as Pedagogy............ 179 News Critical Practices in Teacher Preparation 185 Analyses of Log #1: Targeting News Issues and Selecting Artists..................... 189 Analyses of Log #14: Applying News Criticism.. 200 Summary of Students' News Critical Responses... 212 Appropriation as an Artmaking Practice in Studio Production for Teacher Preparation... 214 Activism in Teacher Preparation..................... 226 Race Relations.................................. 228 AIDS Awareness.................................. 232 Feminism......................................... 242 Summary of Findings 247 PR EVIEW
  7. 7. V Chapter 4. A TRANSFORMATIVE PEDAGOGY FOR ART EDUCATION.. 251 News Media in a Transformative Curriculum.......... 251 News Media as Construct........................ 252 Utilizing News as Discourse.................... 254 Obstacles to Implementing a Transformative Pedagogy in Art Education................................ 259 Art Ed 003: Successes............................... 262 Beginning with Students' Experience............ 265 The Contemporary Artworld as a Site for Transformation......................... 271 Contemporary Multiple Voices................... 272 Honing the Model: Toward a Transformative Pedagogy for Art Education............................... 275 Applications in Future ElementaryClassrooms........ 280 Suggestions for Future Research..................... 284 In Conclusion......................................... 290 REFERENCES................................................. 291 Appendix A. RESEARCH LOGQUESTIONS....................... 302 Appendix B. LOG #14...................................... 304 Appendix C. LESSON PLAN.................................. 315 PR EVIEW
  8. 8. vi LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE PAGE 1. Jerry Kearns, "Head Spook: William Casey, Director of the CIA." 1984, Acrylic on acetate, 43" x 48," Courtesy of the Alternative Museum................. 108 2. Leon Golub, "White Squad." 1984, Lithocrayon and newspace, 22" x 39," Courtesy of the Alternative Museum........................................ Ill 3. Francesc Torres, "Disinformation— Information Before Television (long ago and far away)." 1939-1985, Mixed media on wall, Courtesy of the Alternative Museum..................... 113 4. "B,” "Maleface," in the style of Adrian Piper. 1992, Photocopy, Tempera paint and markers on paper, 18" x 22.".................................... 193 5. "K," performing "Waiting," by Faith Wilding. 1992.................................................. 195 6. "K," quilt square based on women's issues. 1992, Tempera paint, oil crayon and photocopy on paper, 16" x 16."................................ 196 7. "F," Protest poster. 1992, Tempera paint, markers, and coal chips on paper, 18" x 22."...... 198 8. "H," Pro-life statement in the style of KeithHaring. 1992, Tempera paint on paper, 18" x 22."........... 205 9. "I," "It's a Big World," in the style of Barbara Kruger. 1992, Photocopy and chalk on paper, 18" x 22."..... 208 10. "L," "Cornered," in the style of Adrian Piper. 1992, Newspaper and tempera paint on paper, 18" x 22."................................ 211 11. "M," "Kix," 1991, Tempera paint on paper, 18" x 22."........................................... 225 PR EVIEW
  9. 9. 1 Chapter 1 A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT FOR CHANGE This study has evolved from my attempts to find how pre­ service elementary education majors in an art education methods course can effectively integrate art and media criticism, interpretation of contemporary artworks, and study of news media in their future classrooms. Students need to study contemporary artists, news media and written criticism to understand art and mass media as cultural production with embedded social and ideological dimensions. In this study, I will show how analysis of selected contemporary artistic practices is particularly useful in helping students identify the impact of current events and issues of representation in news media sources. Since these issues are an integral part of many contemporary artworks, I will show how examining these issues and analyzing their presentation in news sources also enhances understanding of the artworks. A goal of this study is to explore potential applications of the study of contemporary artists who use news media critically in addressing a range of race, age, gender, and class concerns relevant to classroom teaching. A more general goal of this study is to address the two-pronged problem of relating what contemporary artists and critics are doing and how that work is relevant to the classroom. PR EVIEW
  10. 10. News Media, Education, and Art 2 New technologies that today broadcast twenty-four-hour- a-day news reports have impacted greatly on local and global communities. During the Persian Gulf crisis, it was often reported that world leaders such as Saddam Hussein use Cable News Network (CNN) as a primary source of information. Political operatives have always attempted to influence public opinion and access to information, but CNN's continuous and immediate live coverage has changed the face of the news. Live broadcast tours of battleships and terrorists1 attacks alike are carefully staged by various political factions to use the news media. This broadcast rhetoric becomes part of our popular culture because of its accessibility to the public on television and in ensuing printed news journalism. I can, at any time, watch several versions of the news along with the world's leaders. This immediacy of news broadcasts all over the world makes it possible for these mediated events to become the backdrop of my own experience. In addition to becoming part of the backdrop of my lived experience, new technologies in interactive news broadcasting will increasingly enable viewers to actively participate in the global drama. I can already call in to vote in a poll, to speak to a commentator, or to question a speaker. The news media are becoming more interactive media, and the enabling technologies are spreading deeper into the world's PR EVIEW
  11. 11. 3 wildernesses. While traveling in Yucatan and Chiapas, Mexico, last summer, I observed numerous apparently indigenous people living in thatched huts similar to those pictured on the walls of ancient Mayan pyramids in that region. Much to my surprise, some of these homes were equipped with televisions and many had access tocable TV. While visiting Costa Rica the year before in a hotel room which was without hot water, I watched cable news broadcasts of a dirt track racing tournament from Charlotte, North Carolina. Our broadcast news media in the United States, for better and for worse, are not only bringing information from other cultures to us, but are also spreading our popular culture on a global scale. In many instances, it appears that our popular culture reaches residents of third world countries before our advanced technologies in medicine and education. The systematic presentation of information in the broadcast and printed news media is important tostudy because it is the most accessible way we have oflearning how to become informed participants in a democracy that impacts the world. We can observe the world's leaders as they access broadcast news media on a daily basis to influence the global community. Whether or not we choose to engage in political activism, it is important that we understand the struggles of our contemporaries and the potential for change in the political arena through media co-optation. This study will show how artists and art critics can provide particular PR EVIEW
  12. 12. 4 insights toward critical understanding of how news media can be used in a curriculum based on empowerment. Contemporary art critical journals can increasingly be studied to find connections between the worlds of art and of sociopolitical issues. The May 1992 Artforum included editorials and feature stories about the fall of communism, artists' resistance in Yugoslavia, and a story about shelters for the homeless. Artforum and other art journals circulated nationally and internationally are also increasing their coverage of media studies with the inclusion of reviews of film, television, and music. A 1991 Artforum featured a review by New York University professor of media studies Stuart Ewen. He, as did many journalists, critiqued the recent news coverage of the Persian Gulf war and the attempts of the Bush administration to control the images and information gathered by teams of reporters. Ewen discussed how the Vietnam war was the first "living room" war people could experience at home by watching television. According to Ewen, the Bush administration blamed the loss of the Viet Nam war on the public outcry which arose as a result of the horrifying news images and resolved to prevent such negative public opinion in future crises. Ewen’s criticism details how coverage of the Persian Gulf crisis was carefully orchestrated and often censored by the Bush administration. Traditionally the province of "master" artists sanctioned within a museum/artmarket framework, many art journals such as Artforum are broadening their scope to include critical PR EVIEW
  13. 13. studies such as Ewens' which question such presentation of news information to the public. An underlying assumption I have made in this study is that social and political representations in contemporary news media need to be questioned. In his book All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture. Ewen (1984) questioned how news has entered the realm of popular culture by becoming an entertainment commodity. He analyzed how news presentation has been adversely affected by the stylization of broadcasters, newsrooms sets, camera angles, and graphics, all designed to attract viewers and good ratings. In televised news broadcasting and printed journalism as well, "truth must be transformed into drama, a thriller, entertainment. Within such a context, the truth is defined as that which sells" (p. 265). Ewen believes the power of news to utilize new technologies in information gathering and transmission has been compromised by its merging with the business world. Ewen wrote that we need to teach news and media criticism to help viewers become critical consumers who demand complete coverage that is more than entertainment from news broadcasters. I have spent the last three years examining ways to utilize news media as a subject for critical study through its uses in contemporary art and in the teacher preparation curriculum. When asked to target current issues that might be used to develop curricula for the public school classroom, many preservice elementary education majors do not know where PR EVIEW
  14. 14. to begin. They need help to identify issues which can pertain to all subject areas to be taught in the classroom. In addition to enhancing the work of contemporary artists, study of current news sources provides a springboard for debate and discussion of socially relevant issues in the classroom. Such discussion shows that the classroom is not an isolated site, but is part of a local and global community in which politicians, steel workers, artists, children, and other workers live. More explicit methods are needed to help preservice teachers identify current public issues relevant to the public school student population. Using news media and the issues presented helps these future teachers look outside of the classroom to the changing world and to adapt their curriculum to change. Many contemporary artists are responding to systematic discrimination and social inequities by synthesizing and utilizing new potentials of news media in their work. A primary question I will answer in this study is how news media are being appropriated, critiqued and accessed by artists, to include disenfranchised groups such as people with AIDS, women, and minorities. An important dimension of the study of news media is the potential for an active and interactive role of the viewer in using news media. Students can learn to address issues such as censorship in news media by studying how artists question repressive representation. Recent controversies involving National Endowment of the Arts {NEA] funding of art exhibits and public artworks, for PR EVIEW
  15. 15. 7 example, have caused contemporary artists, writers, and performers to rally against censorship. The news media have proven to be important vehicles for consciousness raising for the public and for resistance to conservative attempts to curtail NEA support for controversial artworks. Ewen (1984) perceives the news media increasingly as tools of oppression for the same conservative ideologies which have been used to justify silencing of certain groups of artists. By studying artists' co-opting of news media in responding to censorship, students can learn what discriminatory practices to question and how to challenge sanctioned ideologies that support them. In this study, I will relate current news sources to the contemporary artworld, targeting meaningful public issues that teachers need to articulate for children. I will show how artmaking practices and public information can be identified as subjects for study that is responsive to social change. While most students at all levels consume mass media, they often do so passively and uncritically. Studying artists' responses to news media and synthesizing them into written and visual forms can challenge the student to interact with both art and news media. This critical * interaction can situate the student as a maker of meaning, who can formulate and reconstruct empowering versions of reality. PR EVIEW
  16. 16. 8 Contemporary Curriculum Theory; Challenging Social Structures in the Classroom For students to become empowered, they need to understand and learn to challenge oppressive social structures. Many contemporary curriculum theorists address the issue of empowerment for disenfranchised groups who are subtly silenced in public school systems as well as in the machinery of government bureaucracies and media production. They propose curricula based on change of systems which reproduce domination of certain social groups over others. Paolo Freire (1974), Henry Giroux (1988) and others attack what Giroux calls neoconservative trends in schooling which do not result in social and political mobility for students. Current curricula, according to these educational theorists, transmit and reproduce a power structure which benefits a privileged few. They call for a "critical pedagogy" that supports a curriculum of empowerment concerned with motivating students to call into question realities presented to them that perpetuate oppressive social and political systems. In his book The culture of silence. Paolo Freire (1974) compares his experiences in teaching Brazilian peasants with traditional classroom practices in the United States. A culture of silence in both settings is the result of the implication that peasant workers and students alike are considered to be culturally illiterate (pp. 1-58). The PR EVIEW
  17. 17. 9 Brazilian workers and United States students are "silenced" by an approach to education which transmits cultural knowledge without acknowledging the individual's potential for creating meaning. Freire and others advocate giving voice to those subcultures experienced by students that are not always validated within mainstream cultural contexts. Giroux (1988) has written that contemporary mass media could provide sites for challenging social systems. Mass media "contains within its technology the possibility of real communication among people, i.e., people could become transmitters as-well as receivers of information" (p. 79), and that "While the visual media are not the only force in promoting social and cultural reproduction, they may be the most powerful" (p. 83). However, Giroux identified problems with the implementation of mass media as sites of transformation. "The electronic media are in the hands of the corporate trust, and it would take a redistribution of power and wealth to place them at the public's disposal" (p. 83). Giroux has pointed out that although electronic media are available for use, people tend to use them for leisure rather than for educative or political purposes. More work is needed to teach students how to access the activist potentials of mass media to effect social trans formation. PR EVIEW
  18. 18. Research Precedents in Mass Media Education 10 In "Mass culture and the eclipse of reason," Stanley Aronowitz (1977) identified needs in education which are related to uses of media. He believes the typical consumption of mass media has contributed to a decline in academic and reasoning skills. There is a need to "combat the student's growing tendency to view things literally rather than conceptually" (p. 83). In this article, he also cited students' general inability to think dialectically, to see things in wider contexts, and to make connections between seemingly unrelated objects and events. He says students are tied to "factuality" and "have difficulty in using concepts which may contravert appearances" (p. 83). Aronowitz concludes that the passive viewing of consumer oriented media programming are responsible for the decline in development of these cognitive skills. Toward Civilization; A Report on Arts Education (1988), a publication compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts seems to concur with Aronowitz. In the report, the function of "the media" as part of a section entitled "The Arts Sector" is addressed: The most pervasive influence of the arts sector on young people’s perception of art and culture comes through the communication media- television, publishing, recording, radio, and film. The most potent of these is television. Young PR EVIEW
  19. 19. 11 people spend more time in front of the television set than in class— over six hours a day. (p. 151) Toward Civilization affirmed that students should be taught to think critically about what mass media have to offer. Educators and artists should not dismiss "popular media" and should take advantage of "the enormous power to improve education in the arts" (p. 152). Toward Civilization allotted equal space in the document to "media" and "visual arts and design." The NEA encourages that we use media technologies to teach the arts, and that we teach students to become discriminating consumers of mass media. Toward Civilization provides a rationale for teachers of art to examine connections between the visual arts and media. It also suggests that we look at how mass media targets audiences and develops whatever is marketable. Vincent Lanier (1969), Manuel Barkan and Laura Chapman (1967), Laura Chapman (1982), Paul Duncum (1987, 1989), and Dan Nadaner (1984, 1985) wrote about the implications of using mass media sources in art education. Their projects acknowledged the importance of film, television, and other mass media to student populations and were some of the first to incorporate these media into art educational contexts. Vincent Lanier focused on uses of "popular arts," primarily film, in response to social crises in the late sixties. In "The Teaching of Art as Social Revolution" (1969), Lanier called for a complete revamping of the way we teach art to "give the art class a share in the process of PR EVIEW
  20. 20. 12 exploring social relationships and developing alternative models of human behavior in a quickly changing and, at this point in time, quickly worsening social environment" (p. 314). He cited John Dewey to establish that popular arts and fine arts do not differ "in kind" and share a "basic community of function" (p. 315). Breaking down this hierarchy takes on a social function because youth, including disadvantaged youth, have easy access to popular culture. He wrote, "The concept of art curriculum recommended in this paper conceives of the teaching of art as a deliberate, planned, and recognized vehicle for effecting social change" (p. 315). Lanier supports teaching students to challenge social structures with desired social changes beginning in the classroom. Lanier expounds upon how pop music, film, and television can be studied to find ways to challenge social systems and can be used as teaching tools and as studio art media in the classroom. Manuel Barkan and Laura Chapman wrote about the possibilities that television offered as a teaching medium. Their Guidelines for Art Instruction Through Television for Elementary Schools (1967) outlined a program series that could expand classroom discussions in aesthetics to the community to include works of artists, crafts workers and commercial designers. In Instant Art. Instant Culture: The Unspoken Policy for the Nation's Schools (1982) Chapman identified a need for inclusion of public, collaborative, and popular arts in school programs. She further identified a PR EVIEW
  21. 21. 13 need for teaching about mass media: In relatively few schools or teacher preparation programs will you find solid teaching about the aesthetic, metaphoric, or functional aspects of architecture; of urban, industrial, or graphic design; of photography, television, and film, or of the ceremonial arts in which visual forms are used to commemorate important life events, (p. 36) Barkan and Chapman were some of the first to explore the use of television in the classroom and recognized early on the growing importance of mass media. Dan Nadaner bridged this gap between the world of media and the classroom. In 1985, he wrote that art educational curriculum needs to be structured to help students deal with contemporary visual culture made up primarily of mass reproduced photographic images. In "Critique and Intervention: Implications of Social Theory for Art Education," Nadaner (1984) argues for a sociological critique of meaning in art. He wrote, "Concepts of harmonious design and significant form are inadequate; a more problematic, self-aware and socially informed approach to representation is needed" (p. 20). He recommended alternatives in teaching practices that include diverse world views represented in images, a confrontational approach to artmaking, and an interventionist approach that creates alternative art forms in response to social critique. Australian art educator Paul Duncum (1989) laid PR EVIEW
  22. 22. 14 foundations for a socially critical art education that goes beyond study of art as cultural artifact. Beginning with Lanier's (1969) description of socially critical art education, Duncum builds on research of Nadanar (1985) and Laura Chapman (1978) to assert that we must look at "issues of power and domination" in culture (p. 14). He also uses the word "interventionary" to describe art education that is neither passive nor "reactive," but that seeks "being at the centre of social issues and ethical considerations" (p. 22). Duncum advocates a dynamic use of popular culture in the classroom. In his 1989 article, "Clearing the decks for dominant culture: Some first principles for a contemporary art education," he cites mass communications theorists such as J. W. Carey (1989) and D. McQuail (1987) to support his identified need for using mass media in art educational contexts. Duncum maintains that "cultural standards are the product of argument as much as agreement" (p. 213). Here, he defines a cultural dynamic in which people not only consume but can also utilize mass media to transform. When people can challenge and reconstruct cultural standards, there is potential for empowerment for the users of mass media. Duncum discusses mass communications theorist J. W. Carey (1989), who suggests that mass media be studied as a site where culture is made and transformed. Duncum says that students are familiar with and value what he calls "dominant culture," or popular mass culture. The student's valuing of mass media is often at odds with the teacher's valorization PR EVIEW
  23. 23. 15 of "fine arts," according to Duncum. The rejection of popular culture as subject for study does not take into account the complexity of establishing boundaries between "high" and "low" artforms. Duncum shows how the boundaries between "fine" and "popular" arts have been blurred through history (Shakespeare's plays, he points out, were performed for mass audiences). He advocates that art education: seek an insider’s experience, with a collaborative model of production, to respect students for how they cope with the conditions imposed upon them, to acknowledge the perennial nature of dominant culture content, and to recognize the changing political and social contexts in which cultural standards are established, maintained, and revised are first principles for a socially relevant art education. Such an art education would both earn the right and possess the potential to contribute critically to the meanings, values, and beliefs students form with dominant culture, (p. 214) Duncum sets a useful precedent for advocating use of mass media in art education which includes news media sources. He also uses a collaborative model that empowers students to critically consume and utilize contemporary media. His model involves the teacher's collaborating with the student's cultural literacy in popular media instead of dictating a "high" culture canon. Duncum's article does not address the numbers of contemporary practicing artists who use mass media and, PR EVIEW
  24. 24. 16 specifically, news media as sources for their visual artworks. He also assumes a schism between the "fine" arts agenda of the art educator and the "popular" arts agenda of the student when many art teachers in the U.S., at least, utilize some form of mass media in design, printmaking, collage, or other studio art assignments. Duncum's view is valuable in privileging mass media and in placing the student as a maker of meaning. My study will acknowledge the interchanging of mass media worlds with academic and art worlds that could support Duncum's collaborative model for art learning. Studies are needed in art educational literature that examine practicing visual artists and their effective use of media images and presentational strategies as models for student artmaking. Further, news media have something to offer that other media do not, a focus on systematically presenting information about current public affairs and social experience. Critical study of news media combined with study of artists using those media provides students with strategies for transformation that Duncum, Giroux, Freire, Aronowitz, Lanier, and Nadaner call for. In my approach to selection of visual artists and political issues for study, I will consider lived experience of the student and popular culture as a part of larger social realities that can be understood through contemporary artists. Further, my focus on news media critique and on news media co-optation will examine public information and how it can be critiqued PR EVIEW

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