|Courtesy of The National Gallery of Jamaica, Renee Cox – Zulu Man Tree (from Sacred Geometry), digital photograph|
I am currently facilitating a course at Edna Manley College called 'Time-based Media'. It is one of three Media Art courses I developed under the guidance of Annie Hamilton, Hope Brooks and Petrona Morrison back in 2006. I had just finished my MA in Interactive Media in the UK and had many ideas about how to integrate the things I had learned as well as the pathway my artistic practice was taking down the road of hybridizing traditional art method and media with new media. I only taught the course for one year before leaving to study in Asia but after returning have been teaching it for the past year. Many things have changed. The Jamaica Biennial now has numerous multimedia works on show and in most but not in all cases there is a sense that artists who work with new media are allowed to inhabit the same privileged gallery space as artists using traditional media. I asked my first year students taking the Time-based Media course to visit the Biennial and in particular to engage with the work of artists such as Renee Cox, Petrona Morrison, Sheena Rose, Olivia Mc Gilchrist, Di-Andre C Davis and Storm Saulter as well as other less locally known artists using new media. Often work using new media can feel perplexing to audiences as it may be less familiar as an art medium for them. I asked the students to think about:- The design of the work (images as well as physical placement of equipment)- The equipment and physical parts used in actualizing the work- The images and technique used in the work- and finally to ponder what concepts and sensations emerge in the work when they look at it.You are also invited to visit the Biennial and discuss these and other questions about the new media work on show.