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The Journal of Aesthetic Education 37.4 (2003) 58-64
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Media Literacy Education in Art:
Motion Expression and the New Vision of Art Education
The Bauhaus, which established the foundation of modern design, has greatly influenced Japanese design and art education. It is a historical fact that the movement views "synthetic art" as an integration of the various fields and the integration of the art and machine technology experimentally. However, the Bauhaus is not just of historical importance but continues to have an influence even in the integration of the art and electronic technology in today's "multimedia." In addition, it can be said that it is very much alive as "the digital Bauhaus" or "the electronic Bauhaus." 1 As we know, today's multimedia and the Internet give us a new life-environment, and expandthe possibility of expression in art. Therefore, current art education must examine how these new medias will be incorporated into the curriculum.
In the cases of the photograph, video, or computer, an expression by the image media is added to the art course for the junior high school course of study. 2 Also in school art classes, image media was introduced, expanding the possibilities of self-expression through art. This result can be matched to the needs of the industrial world in Japan as well. As an educational practice, the content of this course of study is promising, even though someproblems must be solved, acquiring new equipment, re-educating the artteacher, and securing additional art school hours. The new content in art education can be summarized as follows:
1. The motion picture (animation) which includes time and movement. Motion picture is asequence of continuous images, obviously different from the still images of painting. There are, of course, artworks that express motion or induce the viewer'seye movement. There are also kinetic artworks that do move, such as mobiles. Works of motion picture have, however, a fixed time shaft, and they are formed by the afterimage phenomenon. Thinking about the progress of time shaft is an indispensable element for the production. [End Page 58]
2. The synchronism of image and sound. Because time is a factor in the visual expression, the works are compatible with music — the art of time. There is a synchronized relation between the motion picture and music. Image expression with multimedia became synthetic art, just as the Bauhaus looked for "architecture." Currently, this kind of expression transitions from art to entertainment, and permeates daily life.
3. The method with interactive art work. Not only artworks of installation, but also TV games and web design have interactive construction as an indispensable interface. The aesthetic value of these visual works will be appreciated when the user starts the action by hitting a touchpad, pushing buttons, or clicking a mouse. To make this kind of artwork, one needs to consider the latent relationships between humans and work, and establish the input-output order for the method of construction.
4. The problem of virtual reality. The term "virtual reality" is used by some art teachers as criticism against digital works such as computer graphics. These teachers insist that there is no reality there. One can, however, get an aesthetic feeling through sensory information, imagination, and sensitivity, even though what one sees is an illusion. The feeling of reality a picture of an apple gives, for example, may be equal to a computer graphic apple.Human imagination also creates "virtual reality" beyond reality in the myth, the novel, and so on. It can be said that this is the basis for human creativity.
Furthermore, expression by image media raises the problem of a "reality" in which material experience is important to encounterthe world directly. Such an argument discusses multimedia as a tool of expression and a teaching material while reconsidering human reality.
More recently, "media literacy" (ability to read and understand media) became an important point of discussion for Japanese educators. Usually, in this discussion, the critical ability to talk back to the television program is emphasized. However, through art...