International Journal of Art & Design Education

A (Con)text for New Discourse as Semiotic Praxis

Volume 27.1   2008



Contemporary art requires that art and cultural educators reposition encounters with artefacts, images and performances into a context for new discourses. Whereas digital media and other aspects of visual popular culture predominate the frames of reference of school-age children, their context (codes) of reference, in large part, do not contain those used by art and cultural education professionals. Most art professionals (con)textualise their interpretations from a more formalistic tradition, unlike school-age children, whose use of iconographic elements from their experiential subcultures, are projected into the content of their visual encounters. In order to find relevancy for today's art education, interrelationships between the codes of the participant and visual experiences must be built upon the development of new strategies between viewers, artefacts and experts. This article presents the background and use of dialogic strategies for new discourse from the ‘Open Dialogue Club’ programme between the Department of Art Education at Charles University and the Galerie Rudolfinum, a contemporary art space, in Prague, Czech Republic.