NSC 491: Global Sustainability for a Shrinking Planet
The commercial image-makers of our society are the most powerful in the world. The forces of advertising, media, capitalist consumerism, corporate propaganda, industrialized pop culture and the “high art” institutions exert a nearly complete control on the imaging of our everyday lives.
The images that idealize and standardize who and what we should be are set against unsettling views of the disenfranchised people of our society. This instills fear, depression and a disconnection from who we really are and how we can grow as human beings individually and collectively.
To teach a socially engaged visual-arts practice in this context requires a layering of self-reflection, critical discourse, research, training in technique and materials, collaborative exchange, improvisation and professional practices. To do this effectively, the teacher-practitioner draws from the “in the trenches” experience of community and public art processes and projects.
The institution in which this art making takes place must provide real support in the form of resources, space and access to sites in order for it to be successful. Through these efforts the next generation of image makers, visual artists and members of our society will learn the concepts and tools necessary to intervene in our shared spaces and collaborate on images that authentically reflect the complexity of the world we live in.
~ Sam Wildfong
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