Arts, Upper School

Students Explore New Media Art

Northwest’s New Media Art course challenges Upper School students to combine technology and art. New media art is the use of digital technologies, most commonly video and audio, in tandem with an installation, a sculpture, or a performance.

To become more informed about new media artists, students visited the Frye Art Museum on September 18, chose a piece that piqued their curiosity, and researched the artist for two weeks. Then they presented their research to the class via PowerPoints, revealing the artist’s upbringing, schooling, and style, as well as providing visual examples of his/her work through photos or videos.

“Art has many forms, and each form has its own idea,” says Dale D., who chose to study New York-based new media artist Shana Moulton. “I didn’t understand a lot of her work, but I could definitely appreciate her love and passion for art.”

The assignment reflected how new media art teacher Julia Freeman finds new works and artists. “When I go to exhibits and shows, I get intrigued, research the artist, and discover more work,” says Julia. “The way to authentically learn about art is to experience it.”

Numerous students in the class chose to present on Shana Moulton, who is known for her Whispering Pine video series. Although many of the students enjoyed her auto-biographical, surreal, video alter-ego, some students didn’t understand or respond positively to her artwork, which according to Julia was a perfect learning moment.

“As a class we are learning how to take part of viewership and learn how to process, appreciate, and most importantly, not appreciate art, and to figure out why you don’t like it,” says Julia. “I want to buck the idea of just looking at art and assuming you have to like it and understand it.”

Since the class began, students have viewed art and exhibitions at MadArt Studio, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Center on Contemporary Art Gallery.