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e 19981SAST EDITORIAL THE PLANETARY COLLEGIUM Towards the Radical Reconstruction of Art Education I want to propose the creation of a Planetary Collegium: non-hierarchical, non-linear, and intrinsically interactive; a gathering together, a connecting, an integration of people and ideas. Combining cognition and connectivity, what better creative learning organism could serve our unfolding telematic culture ? But by definition such an organism cannot be planned and implemented top-down. In fact it is already emerging, bottom-up from the infinity of interactions within the net. The Planetary Collegium is a paradigmof the 2lst-eentury Interversity [I]. I first proposed the Planetary Collegium in a paper given at the FifthInternational Symposium on Electronic Art in Helsinki (1994). Leonardo has sought to extend the discussion engendered by that paper by issuing a call for papers addressing in some depth the issues raised. This invitation calls upon the experience and imagination of artists, theorists and teachers in hopes of generating new approaches to education and formulating conditions in which creativity in art allied to science and technology might thrive. The Planetary Collegium, as I conceive it, is a process, a world-wide network, a series of relationships, a set of complex systems, rather than any kind offixed institution or establishment of bricks and mortar. It identifies the need for strategies to revivifyart education (which seems to have entered a stalemate, a kind of cul-de-sac leading merely to training and technological dexterity) and to increase the connectivity between art and other fields of knowledge and practice. It places the problem within a holistic context that embraces the rich diversity of cultural formations across the globe while focusing on the specific needs of our computer-based society. The important questions here are: • How might new technologies and the metaphors of science be employed in the education of the artist? And how might the insights of the artist contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science and to technological development? • How can the accrued wisdom of distant or earlier cultures be allied to the search for meaning and values in a post-biological society? • How might the Net, in the fullness of its evolution, serve the needs of interactive , non-linear learning and engender creative thought and constructive action ? • How might we initiate new discourses that will bring critical, aesthetic and moral perspectives to bear on emergent fields of practice? By "new technologies" we mean not only electronic, telematic and digital mediacomplex and challenging as they can be. We have in view also developments in biological research, artificial life, molecular engineering, neuroscience, nanotechnology. We include technologies that reframe our ideas of the mind and consciousness, no less than those that give us new visions of planetary society and life in outer space. While education will always be concerned with providing students with tools to create coherent worldviews of the present, often drawing on beneficial practices from LEONARDO, Vol. 31, No.2, pp. 87-88, 1998 87 I the past, it now becomes important to help these students reach into the future, not only in anticipating radical change but by giving enrichment to its realization. ROY AsCOTT HonoraryEditor Schoolof Visual Studies GwentCollege ofHigherEducation Caerleon, GwentNP65HR, Wales Reference 1. Roy Ascott, "The Planetary Collegium: Art and Education in the Post-Biological Era," Artlink 16, No. 2/3, 51-54 (1996). CALL FOR PAPERS The Planetary Collegium: Towards the Radical Reconstruction of Art Education Papers/projects addressing the present and future needs and nature of art education in light of developments in technology, science and the arts are sought. Ideas and proposals developed through interpersonal and Internet collaboration are especially welcome. The guest editor for the project is Roy Ascott. Issues to address might include: • Has digital post-modernism really killed off Bauhaus idealism? • Personal expression, artistic sensibility and the post-biological body • Educational cyberstate in relation to university real estate • Architecture education: more aloof than alive? • The criteria and assessment of quality in a relativistic culture • Multimedia archives and on-line art history in the service of ideologies • Distributed authorship and distance-design collaboration • Putting the art into artificial life • Should studies in consciousness precede point, line and plane? • The research...


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