Scanner Self-Portraits: Utilizing a scanner as a way to express identity

Our  guest blogger this week is Tracey Hunter-Doniger in Teacher Education.

scan of a student's hand and artifactsThe Tech Happens! Un-Grant is a small one-time grant intended to assist CofC faulty with innovative technology purchases. These purchases can range from $10 to $200. Through this Un-Grant I purchased a portable scanner to use in my education courses EDEE403 Visual & Performing Arts in Education, EDEE 655 Creativity/Creative Arts in Education, and my spring FYE course.

In each of my courses we discuss life histories and identities of the students through written narrative reflection, and visual narratives (artwork). The theoretical framework of this component is based on McAdams’ (2006) theory of Life Story and Identity, which includes three main segments of inquiry designed to explore one’s identity. These segments are the past, present, and future selves. My students focus on their past self when they create their original scanner self –

The Russian scanner artist, Yulia Yukashova, is the inspiration for the students as they focus on their past. Using a scanner provides a medium ideal for telling a visual story that is likely to have a multitude of items such as trinkets, photos, images, ticket stubs, jewelry, and personal notes. To the students each and every item has a meaning, a memory and a powerful purpose significant to the participants’ past. This modern form of multimedia artwork gives everyone the chance to be an artist. After the portrait is created the students create a written narrative that explains the significant items found in their self-portrait.

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