The Promise of Intra-actions: Classroom Provocations Through a New Materialist Lens




Bouliane, Nadine

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With this paper, I propose that materials and objects play a more significant role in shaping learning experiences in art than is widely understood. I assert that many art education curriculums have yet to consider the ways in which objects have agency in art making processes and that intentionally cultivating an awareness of the materiality of art mediums should have a larger place in curriculum design for students beyond the primary years. I begin by establishing the ways in which a 21st context demands approaches to art education that decenter hierarchical perspectives and considers the agency of all things. I then provide a critical context through key scholars who provide insight into the nature of our dense interconnections and interdependencies. I follow with a personal narrative of insights gained through my own experiences in art education, using significant omissions and disconnects to establish the necessity of new approaches. Through these contexts I provide a set of orientations that may account for a more complex interaction of human and non-human things in the act of creating. Through the work of contemporary artists, my own studio experiences and a new materialist lens, I propose some open-ended questions and provocations to guide classroom experiences that can promote the attitudes, concepts and behaviours of a new materialist approach.



art education, new materialism, material exploration, emergent learning