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ART & TECH BLOG 12

Keywords: Digital materiality, Online Learning, Collaboration


A metaphor of digital materiality

Questions for Sean Justice and Material Learning in Action: building an arts-based research community.


  • What is the digital materiality of the virtual?

  • Digital objects are known by its characteristics and affordances. Digital materiality has similar characteristics as physical substances. In the article, digital substance refers to code.


  • What is the agency of the material for Justice?

  • Justice thinks people might have exaggerated the divide between things made of code and things made of other substances. Indeed, the emergence of any made thing often appears like a miracle—as when you fi st feel the wall of a pot pull up from the turning lump in front of you—whether the material is code or something less virtual.


  • What is the function of code in this strategy?

  • Code editing changes how the digital images being displayed. By copying and pasting certain codes or random codes of an image, people will make marks on the source images once the new codes transformed into images again.


  • What does Justice refer to when he says “doing knowing” and what is he referencing?

  • He was referencing the traditional ways and memories of using and handling physical materials such as manipulating clay for sculpture, chopping wood, or using oil paints for paintings.


  • What is material learning?

  • Learning comes from relational actions with materials—doing knowing. This is true in digital methods class, because relationships enact the communities that empower individual achievements. There are several parts to this: handling the tools; searching for learning thresholds; and expanding materiality beyond individual intentions.

Collaborative Virtual Learning Environments Through the Contemporary Visual Arts by Naomi Lifschitz-Grant


  • Are all classrooms collaborative?

  • Not all classrooms are collaborative. The level of collaboration can vary based on the teaching style, the subject matter, and the structure of the class.

  • Does the online environment have some advantages in facilitating collaboration?

  • Yes, the online environment does have advantages in facilitating collaboration. It allows teams to work together regardless of geographical location, provides various tools for real-time communication and file sharing, and offers flexible scheduling options.

  • Is making work independently with non-conventional material advantageous when working asynchronously? Is the end goal a photograph, or is it easier to share a photograph for teaching purposes because the class is online?

  • Working independently with non-conventional material can be advantageous for asynchronous work in terms of creativity and flexibility. However, it might also require more self-discipline and planning. As for the end goal, it could be a photograph, a physical piece, or any other form of output, depending on the project's objectives. Using photographs can indeed make it easier to share and teach online because they are easily accessible and can effectively convey visual information.

  • The reading also discusses the advantages of using an artistic practice from another culture—what do you think the advantages are? Do you think technology plays a role in facilitating these advantages?

  • Adopting an artistic practice from another culture can offer numerous advantages. It allows for fresh perspectives, fosters creativity, and encourages cultural exchange, leading to greater understanding and respect for diversity. Technology indeed plays a critical role in facilitating these advantages. It makes cross-cultural exploration more accessible, enabling the sharing, learning, and appreciation of different artistic practices globally.

  • You may or may not be familiar with the Studio Habits of Mind, but what do you think they mean when they refer to a “thinking routine?”

  • A "thinking routine" in the context of Studio Habits of Mind would likely refer to critical thinking, problem-solving, and reflection practices that are regularly applied in a studio or creative context.


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