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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


A/R/Tography as a Living Practice: Re-imaging Visual Encounters of Space, Language, and Knowledge

Stephanie Springgay.

A/R/Tography is a way to envision and re-conceptualize aesthetic experiences in learning, knowing, and understanding. This approach to inquiry includes seeing the unordinary and finding ways to express the hidden, the difficult, and the uncertain. Instead of analyzing art as reflective of culture, or projecting understandings onto visual experiences, A/R/Tography becomes a process of re-imaging, re-writing, and transforming visual images such that visual encounters are constitutive and evocative (Rogoff, 2000). It is a living practice of art making, researching, and teaching that attends to divergent ways of being in space, of knowing, and communicating. This inter-connectedness seeks not to limit, resolve, or restrict our understandings of education, but rather opens up spaces of democratic community building, negotiation, and an inter/intrastanding of the roles of artists/ researchers/ teachers (A/R/T) in society (Irwin and deCosson, in press).

We are four academics and visual artists who have been engaged in a process of living our practices as artists and representing our understandings through aesthetic experiences. Our presentation will include the use of visual images not to frame or illustrate our papers, but rather the visual images re-represent and re-construct our collective and individual understandings of space, language, and knowledge. We challenge and destabilize systems of classification, interpretation, and representation that regulate and control visual images through a re-conceptualization of aesthetic inquiry as an embodied practice of meaning making. We intend our visual presentation to act as a catalyst for participants so that they too can enter the reflective dialogue re-shaping an understanding of the visual in space, language, and ways of knowing.

Irwin, R. and deCosson, A. (in press) (Eds.), A/R/T as living inquiry. Melbourne, Australia: Common Ground Publishing.
Rogoff, I. (2000). Terra Infirma: Geography's Visual Culture. London: Routledge.


Stephanie Springgay  (Canada)
PhD Student
Curriculum Studies
The Univeristy of British Columbia

Stephanie Springgay is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research and artistic interests include aesthetics, visual culture, the body, feminist theory, and social justice and the arts. Her visual art work has been exhibited throughout Canada and she held an International Residency at the Kanoria Art Center in Ahmedabad, India.

  • Artography
  • Art Education
  • Aesthetics
  • Visual Culture
  • Divergent ways of knowing
  • visual literacies

(60 min Workshop, English)