Engaging a Prosumer: Preservice Teachers Interrogate Popular Toys through Stop-Motion Animation

By Ivashkevich, Olga | Art Education, March 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Engaging a Prosumer: Preservice Teachers Interrogate Popular Toys through Stop-Motion Animation


Ivashkevich, Olga, Art Education


Today's global digital culture not only engages young people in daily consumption of visual images, texts, and artifacts, but also provides them with the tools to actively participate in the production of imagery and narratives. Whether they post a picture on Facebook, create a blog, or make a YouTube video with their peers, they engage in what Flenry Jenkins et al. (2009) termed a "participatory culture" in which the distinction between consumption and production is largely blurred. Notably, this participatory digital culture is dominated by reusing, remixing, remaking, and responding to already existing popular images, artifacts, and narratives and direct or indirect collaborations with other digital users, rather than creating unique content.This poses a significant challenge to the traditional Romantic notion of creativity as an individual originality, by highlighting the importance of cultural appropriation and collaboration in the process of artistic production.

Because prosumption is a popular creative method that young people employ in their daily lives as digital users (Duncum, 2011 ; Jenkins, 2006; Jenkins, Purushotma, Weigel, Clinton, & Robinson, 2009), bringing it into the art curriculum can be engaging and relevant to students of all ages. While building collaborative, peer-to-peer "affinity spaces"(Jenkins et al., 2009, p. 9) that exist online can prove difficult in a regular school environment, where students may not have shared interests and/or access to popular sites such as YouTube and Facebook, focusing on the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical aspects of digital appropriation of popular images and artifacts can be very productive. In my new media class for preservice art teachers, I invited students to remake a popular toy of their choice by producing a short stop-motion animation film.Theiract of remaking a toy involved its playful interrogation by creating an alternative animation script that would change this toy's dominant meaning (that is, generated by its production company). Creative interrogation strategies developed by students in the process of making their animation films included recontextualization, narrative disruption, and parody.

Youth as Prosumers

The term prosumers was first used by futurologist Alvin Toffler (1980) to describe an imaginary group of new-age, 21 st-century consumers who would build an alternative to a passive mass-consumption economy by directly participating in the design and advancement of their favorite products and services. A prosumer ethic, according to Toffler, would place a major value on "what [people] do" rather than on "what they own"(p. 403). Toffler's term has been recently recoined by a new media scholar, Flenry Jenkins (2006; Jenkins et al., 2009), who describes contemporary youth as digital prosumers who use new technologies to appropriate, resample, remix, and rework existing cultural artifacts, images, and messages. Jenkins believes these actions are not simply an integral part of market economy, but hold a high potential for productive citizenship and creative activism.

According to a large-scale 2005 Pew Internet and American Life study, about 57% of United States teenagers can be considered "media creators" by making their own blog or webpage; posting their artwork, photographs, stories, or videos online; or remixing existing online content on YouTube and other social networking sites (Lenhardt & Madden, cited in Jenkins et al., 2009, p. 6). The study also concludes that this participation does not differ significantly in terms of gender and race/ethnicity, yet the factor of economic access to new technologies (that is, young people's socioeconomic background) does come into play quite significantly.

One of the most prevalent creative methods used by a prosumer generation is appropriation, which involves remixing and reworking existing images, videos, music, and other cultural artifacts. Jenkins et al. (2009) argue that successful appropriation requires "both analysis and commentary,"including a thorough understanding and critical interpretation of existing cultural material and exploration of"emerging structures and potential latent meanings"(p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Engaging a Prosumer: Preservice Teachers Interrogate Popular Toys through Stop-Motion Animation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.