International Journal of Art & Design Education

Aesthetics, Authenticity and the Spectacle of the Real: How Do We Educate the Visual World We Live in Today? (pages 326–334)

Volume 33.3   2014



In his analysis of the twentieth century, the philosopher Alain Badiou defined a ‘passion for the real’ in terms of spectacle, in its extreme violence, disseminated through art or cultural media, that would shake us out of a complacency we might call reality. But how do we teach Badiou's ‘real’ in the technological world we live in today? We now have continual access to the ‘spectacle’ of the real uploaded within moments of it happening. Photography, video and consumer journalism become a dominating force in our visual experience of the world. In the face of this, how might we consider our relationship with the image, its aesthetic and authenticity? What role does art education play in promoting a critical dialogue with representations of today's real?