Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
Ideas worth spreading. It’s a simple phrase, but one that packs a lot of meaning into three short words. This is the slogan of TED, one of a growing number of websites disseminating educational materials online. Nowadays, all manner of resources — ranging from lectures like those found on TED to full courses — are available to stream or download, often times for free. The lack of a price tag does not translate to a lack of quality in this case, either: Stanford, Princeton, The University of Michigan, and The University of Pennsylvania have partnered (along with other institutions) to form Coursera — an online consortium dedicated to providing lectures and other materials to the public at no cost to the user. Over five and a half million “courserans” have registered in the span of a little more than a year, showing the popularity and demand for high-quality, continued learning.
Apple has also established itself as a player in the education marketplace with the addition of iTunes U within its iTunes store. iTunes U, like Coursera, hosts an expansive amount of downloadable courses and content from world-class universities; it differentiates itself, however, by offering courses and materials from institutions at the K-12 level — including THINK Global School — on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. iTunes U has proven to be an exceptional medium for sharing courses, as our topics are enthralling enough to be enjoyed by people of all ages. And given the subjective nature of art itself, courses like Lee ann Thomas’ “Power & persuasion: art as social commentary” create the opportunity for conversations with a broader, intelligent audience.
Power & persuasion: art as social commentary
Our fourth iTunes U offering, the aforementioned Power & persuasion: art as social commentary, utilizes the same course materials and objectives provided to the students of Lee ann Thomas’ 2012 9th and 10th grade Art classes. Subscribers to the course will explore the ideas of persuasion, media, and rights in the 21st century by focusing on the ways in which expectations and the establishment are questioned, conceptually and visually, through artwork featuring détournement and appropriation. Artists focused on during the course include conceptualist Barbara Kruger and the infinitely compelling Chinese dissident and activist Ai Weiwei, whose work elicited a range of emotions from our students during a visit to his exhibit “According to What?” in Washington D.C.
Power & persuasion: art as social commentary also challenges its subscribers to perform a visual analysis on certain pieces and provide a visual response for each one; this research and experimentation will serve in the creation of the final project: an original piece of art based on the theme “CONSUME, CONSUMER.” Beneath, you can find a sampling of the responses submitted by Lee ann Thomas’ Art students. All of the final pieces can be found here.
Art is meant to be challenging, and we hope that your experiences with Power & persuasion lead you to some fulfilling interpretations and conclusions. We would love to see your own final output based off CONSUME, CONSUMER, so don’t hesitate to share!