NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 5

Call for Artists Closes: 3 July 2017Event: 19 – 23 February 2018Event Location: Brisbane, AustraliaWebsite: Link | Link APAM is Australia’s leading internationally focused industry event for contemporary performing arts – with a key focus on increasing international and national touring outcomes and business development opportunities for the sector. The event, which will be held in Brisbane in […]

These times of increasing social, cultural and political uncertainty, technological advancement and environmental fragility challenge us in the academy. They call us to critique what we do, and to understand the value that we bring.  What can we in the design, and associated creative sectors offer students at all levels? How we can support people to practice in the future?

Project Anywhere was conceived as one possible response to these distinct yet interrelated challenges. Project Anywhere is a global exhibition model in which the role of curator is replaced with the type of peer review model typically endorsed by a refereed journal

With a quick scan of the status of higher arts education around the country, and indeed the world, we see some hopeful signs and many looming dangers and this allows for flights of fancy and doses of reality.

In their narratives of art education, Pevsner (1940) and Goldstein (1996) trace a complex history from the medieval guilds to the 20th Century art schools. This narrative is separate from that of mainstream education, since art schools are independent institutions answerable only to themselves.

When I first enrolled at university to study music, I never doubted for a moment I would find a career when I finished. It was the halcyon days of the late 1960s, there was full employment in most parts of Australia, and an expanding appetite for the arts, fuelled as arts councils and arts centres came into being. I wanted to teach music, and with a rapidly expanding schools system crying out for teachers of any subject, recruiting even those had not graduated, professional employment in my field was a certainty.

Within the increasingly neo-liberalist world there is an obsession with numerical data to enable governments, businesses, NGOs and learning institutions to tell a story about value and impact of spending monies, both public and private. Such data is converted into easily communicated percentages, budget lines or graphs to demonstrate return on investment (ROI). Goldbard (2015) refers to this practice as ‘Datastan XE "Datastan"

2016 was a year of discussion and consultation on the future of higher education.  Yet despite all the effort and a flurry of statements reinforcing the Australian government’s preferences, actual detail on how these will be implemented is trickling out at best with much still being debated.

...when government funding has been used to found a cloistered institution, as in the case of academic research, and this is overlaid with a thick coating of market logic, at some point someone will ask, ‘what are you actually doing over there?’