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Theory: Under Fire: 3D Animation Pedagogy and Industry Complicity in New Media Education

Panel for 2010 Chicago College Art Association Conference

Claudia Hart, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL
Rachel Clarke, California State University, Sacramento, CA

3D computer modeling and animation are associated with the entertainment industry. Character animation, special effects, and violent shooter games, oriented towards mainstream adolescent audiences, have monopolized the medium. 3D computer-graphics education drives students towards the entertainment industry pipeline – in educational facilities, classes are organized along industry production models, rather than encouraging creativity and innovation.

Of all of the areas of new-media art, 3D computer art has had the most difficulty breaking from the constraints of entertainment-industry domination of the medium. It has been rare to find artists involved in contemporary practice deeply invested in exploring 3D computer art.

In recent years artists have emerged who have pushed beyond those boundaries, redefining 3D through its extensive possibilities as a new-media art form. On this panel, innovative artists working with 3D are invited to discuss their work – in relationship to their pedagogical practice – and particularly in relation to industry-oriented vocational training. Participating artists include: Joshua Mosely, Jennifer Steinkamp, Michael Rees, Gregory Little, and Claudia Herbst.

+ link to panel paper and student work