Sunday, August 17, 2008

Visuacy? Visuacy? Idiotuacy, I say.

Where do teachers get off, making up words?
They'd mark students down for making up a word and yet here they are, introducing "visuacy" not only as a word, but as a whole educational concept.
It's a travesty, or should I say "travestuacy".

The teachers are reported in The Australian to be creating this word to encompass a broadening span of education in the arts. It opens students to further possibilities in visual arts education - the possibility that they should see fashion models as art. This, of course, may extend to seeing Paris Hilton as art, for she is her own work of art, as we all know. Next students will be able to do PhD theses on Paris Hilton as an art object. Why not?
Already they study Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as part of the university English curriculum.
She, apparently, is preferable to the onerous erudition of those hideous "dead white men" responsible for that vast body of English literature.

So, we have the dumbed-down contempory teachers adapting education to what interests them, what they are able to deal with without the requirements of too much education of their own.

Students can forgo art galleries and dead classic artists for the joy of gossip magazines and young celebrity adornments. I daresay the fashion accessory puppy-carrier will be provided extensive source of study.

An academic called Mr Strong (dare I laugh that his name sounds as if it came straight out of that high literature, the Mr Men books)
has "called for the visual arts to form the basis of the national curriculum alongside English, maths and science, arguing that it had more of a right to be among the first curriculum to be developed than history".

Ditch history for visuacy?

Yes, siree. It's now and tomorrow, the great dumbed-down tomorrow shimmering with its indifference to the achievements and enlightenments of the past. The brave new world in which knowledge is excused by the fullstop statement "that was before my time".

Today's educationalists suggest that students should be able to look at Picasso's work alongside the pure and glorious art of lingerie ads like this one on WikiBuy. "Viewers can respond in different ways to each image in still enjoy both," says an arts professor, potentially relegating the great galleries of the world to dust-coated tombs.

As one commentator put it, this is like equating a ship's foghorn to a Beethoven symphony on the basis that they are both made of sound.

And who knows, "sounduacy" may indeed follow "visuacy" as the world steps backwards into a sea of trite - and idiotuacy becomes the outcome of an ever-declining education system.


Anonymous said...

Why can't we study texts of various ages and genres?

Have you even watched a complete series of buffy? It's really good.

I mean, if i said Shakespeare's work is a load of trashy soap operas based on reading the blurb of each of his major works, well that would be stupid too.

Paris Hilton - she is a master of celebrity and is also very funny -
Paris for president.

The best part is that people like you totally fall for everything she does and your reaction makes her even funnier. Actually, she could be considered a comic genius and well worth studying.

ashleigh said...

Dunno who anonymous is but they are just as sad a case as the ninnies making up their own special words.

What a sad lot.

Anonymous said...

After studying history and theory of art, I naturally resisted the awful taste that a highbrow attitude to art can leave, and went on to write about the freedom of the visual and sujective human experience in relation to art.
It all depends on what your reality is made up of, but as Guy Debord argued in The Society of the Spectacle, our visual reality is often a coersion.
I think Rudd's policy on visuacy is ridiculous and takes AWAY the freedom to experience and make art WITHOUT the pressures of forcing it to fit into a premeditated system. Way-to-go Kev...and what happens to the art/artists who experience their own visuacy as not taught in schools? Andre Gide did say that the further you remove culture from experience the more horrible it becomes and I'm sure people are not made of paper or smell like new cars!

Donna said...

Visuacy does not mean that ads of bimbos in magazines would be declared of equal footing with the classics in our most beloved museums. Visuacy simply means that we take many, many cues, clues and meanings from images we see around us all day long from the minute we're born. These interpretations should be articulated within a formal curriculum so that high order thinking is expanded to perceptions that are usually taken for granted in our society (American, at least). We tell each other that visual information isn't important or that it's a joke and yet anybody who can't read specifically these visual cues is considered an outcast and incompetent socially. And, finally, don't pretend to know what my curriculum is or how to deliver it. Just because you have been a student doesn't mean you know what it's like to be a teacher.