My MFA practice-led research considered virtual and material archives and our notions of representation in each of those realms. Highfalutin jargon maybe, but really pretty simple; we mistrust on-line experience because it is ‘virtual’, malleable, somehow less than ‘real’, and have an unwarranted trust in material representations.
I love when my arts practice informs my money-maker practice – teaching in the public school system – and vise versa. That’s why Peter Rukavina’s recent post reflecting on his son Oliver’s use of social media platforms to process his experiences during Wednesday’s province wide school evacuations is my favourite thing this week.
In my high school’s safe zone yesterday I saw a lot of cell phone and social media use and in equal measure a lot of real-world, peer support for those in need. I guess sometimes all it takes is a province-wide evacuation to remind you of facts backed by your own research. Young identities are forged on-line and supports are housed there too. And virtual experiences have materiality. All of it is very ‘real’.