34th World Congress of the International Society
for Education through Art (InSEA 2014)

Congress Theme

Diversity Through Art

Change / Continuity / Context

Change – What changes are needed in a contemporary arts education landscape?
Continuity – What is important to preserve amidst arts education/policy/change?
Context – How do we address/contest/maintain arts education in diverse contexts?

Recent decades have seen the greatest transition in visual culture in history. The creative emphasis has moved from object to the idea with conceptual art; photography, film and print media have emerged as independent art forms; alternate and new media have developed as major creative forces globally; sculpture has diversified into installation and performance art; the digital revolution has integrated its technology into conventional art forms and developed its own electronic creative domain; the ‘isms’ of modernism have multiplied in a post modern environment, stimulated by the diversification of the supporting, sometimes leading, theoretical discourse which surrounds contemporary practice. In addition, the global push has stimulated international markets and led to the emergence of powerful visual cultures not driven by Euro/American aesthetic ideals, building exciting affirmations of nationally based visual culture and there has been a renewed interest in indigenous traditions of art and craft, which have enriched the quality and scope of world art.

The art context has also changed through global movement, with migration and the development of large national diasporas as well as transitions in cultural mix through refugee movement. The result is a vast array of aesthetic and cultural issues embedded in diverse social contexts. Needless to say, the challenge for art education is immense.

The 2014 InSEA Congress addresses these diverse issues, the difficulties and challenges which derive from them with reference to the multicultural environment of the present. Australia is one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth and Melbourne is a striking demonstration of the resultant diversity and is well placed to reflect these challenges.

In confronting the issues of a 21st century art education, the integrity of both art practice and theory as a knowledge base for artist and art teacher alike, must be preserved, while responding to the diversity in art, which shapes contemporary visual culture. The learning process must subsume this diversity and identify core premises on which it is based, to enrich the framework of education regardless of medium, context or culture.

Responding to the Congress location in the Asia Pacific, the Congress will consider key themes that demonstrate artistic diversity and celebrate the innovations of the present against the backdrop of the past. The growth of a contemporary art in many nations throughout Asia will be a major theme, as will the revived awareness of traditional and indigenous cultures throughout the Pacific region. Particular emphasis will be placed on Australian Indigenous culture and its emergence as an international art force and the creative potential offered by the multiple visual resources resulting from migration and the multicultural community. The rise in practice based research has drawn art practice more directly into the research mainstream and the impact of new media and digital technology have extended the range and impact of the visual image, making some forms of the visual an international rather than a national or regional resource. The relationship between emerging and established media, the development of visual concepts and their expression in culture, the interface between historic and contemporary visual forms and the diversification of art and resultant learning needs, will form the basis of an exploration into the fundamental visual/aesthetic issues which underpin art education. In essence the Congress will consider old cultures and new practices and their resultant impact on art and art education.





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