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THE POETIC TURN explores how to harness the incredible time and energy that students spend with social media, digital communication technologies and their digital archives, and reroutes this energy into a focus on artmaking. How can the immaterial (text messages, Facebook wall posts, Skype conversations and Tumblr posts etc) be translated into artwork, and into something material?

The Poetic Turn merges diverse materials and activities – the thoughtful collection of a personal textual archive, self reflective writing exercises, experimentation with new materials, and the presentation of these processes to the other learners – so that students might come away with a studio-focused experience, critical thinking skills, and material studies and artworks that speak to their concepts in a poetic manner. Important to this project is that learners consider the role that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and communication technologies (text messaging, blogging) play in their lives. Initially working from these as sources for texts, students will question how these tools, and specifically the immaterial information gathered on them (words), can be used to make something material. As well, it is expected that students will work to develop more thoughtful approaches to and uses of these technologies. In this workshop students are encouraged to get lost in the process of working with materials, to experiment and to come out of the project with a number of artworks that begin to articulate a personal narrative.

To book a workshop in your school please contact Danielle at daniellebleackley[at]gmail[dot]com

The Poetic Turn has reached over 500 students in Ontario since 2011.
The artist gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council Arts Education Projects Grant for generously funding workshops in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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cover image: If I could I would get on a plane tomorrow, grade 11 student Ursula Franklin Academy, 2014. (color photo, map collage & text with typewriter)