I’ve been busy adding an art installation to my technology studio this week, and I’m really excited about it. Not only does it add warmth and interest to the studio’s biggest, blankest wall, I think it embodies what I want our students’ technology studio experiences to be.
Namely: Student-centered. World-aware. Definitely not flat–and never just black and white. Experienced by people working in tandem, exploring and sharing specific tools and skills, to accomplish something “other.”
Deborah Diana, a talented artist, created silhouettes of the students and teachers at the school. The edges of the white shapes were defined by a black script of each person’s name. The black and white images were arranged in two banks, and each face was raised off the surface of the backdrop enough to give it shadow and dimension. Each of the two banks looks across a colorful world, towards the group of silhouettes on the opposite side. The colorful world in the center was a collage put together by our students during an art class. The finished project is almost 20 feet long.
I’ve dubbed the work Connections. Like all great art concepts, it is so simple, and yet rewards examination and very complex interpretations. I think all great artists create something that communicates to us on a level that invites us to bring our own meanings and complexities–so rather than worry that I am over-interpreting the artist’s concept, I am happily adopting it as a symbol.
I can’t wait for my students to come “find themselves” in the tech studio, when they get back from break. I am sure that most of us will want to go and locate our own silhouette.