Andres Manniste

Teaching

By the time I meet my students they have already absorbed enormous amounts of visual information through popular culture, the media and electronic communication.

As an experienced teacher and artist, I am aware that there is no formula for creation; however, because it falls within the parameters of gainful employment, it is my natural impulse to offer advice, formulas and to sometimes inaccurately contextualize maturing work.

In all teaching there are situations where the visual codes of a work to be discussed have yet to be defined in an appropriate vocabulary. At that point teaching becomes a learning experience. I often organise group projects to allow for the emergence of student generated dialogue.

The manifestation of an appropriate idea, the literal application of the elements and principles of art and the mastery of materials and techniques does not produce art. This is, of course, the first major disappointment of an emerging career.

I am convinced that the successful artist must be aware of everything. In the classroom or studio I like talking about physics, chemistry, social sciences, current events and how they all relate to art making. Creation implies the invention of something that is as legitimate as nature itself. I encourage my students to gain insight from all experiences.

Artistic practice and my need to teach are perfectly congruent. As a teacher and an artist, I am an expert in knowledge and an experimenter in the visual arts. Much of my artistic practice is a direct consequence of my interaction with my students. Access to information through technology is challenging the art school as a centre for the acquisition of ideal knowledge. With this delegitimisation of original purpose, the educational institution is increasingly both a source and generator of culture and we are all participants in this process.

I expect my students to graduate with a comprehensive view of art-making in relationship to their own emergence as artists. They should be able to demonstrate a capacity to invent coherent proposals and to independently make them manifest through a valid and achievable approach.

Assessment of student work

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