Toronto


The Tile Project, Destination: The World features 100+ tiles, donated by diverse, international artists, installed throughout the world, at museums, cultural centers, parks and other public places between 2004-2008.

Project Overview and Project Goals(link)

Art in the Age of Globalization

Reaching out to and beyond the art world's hot spots, the project touches nearly every corner of the globe, allowing local artists to design unique installations that incorporate the donated tiles and are sensitive to their site's context, resulting in remarkably strong symbols of global cooperation and artistic innovation.

Education for the Future

Cultural understanding, tolerance and respect of others' differences will be promoted through email "pen pals" and parallel collaborative projects between K-12 schools and university students around the globe, turning strangers into neighbors.

Why Tiles?

As the cultural historian Mira Bartok notes, "The great modern architect Stanley Tigerman once said that to him, tiles were both democratic and accessible. They are the essence of what public art has the potential to be - an art form that can be found anywhere in the world by anyone, no matter one's class, race, age or gender, with a purpose and beauty transcending all differences between all people.

One of the reasons the tiles are a perfect object to create for TransCultural Exchange's installation is because a tile . . . is a measurable unit of our humanity; it is one of many. Since their origin over 8,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, tiles have served not only a practical function in private homes, public fountains and plazas, palaces, cathedrals, parks, trains and subway stations throughout the world, but they have also been one of the most enduring markers of cultural history."

SPECIFIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Innovative Art Elevated to the World Stage


The project will:

1. Create dynamic, artistically strong, public art works that will incorporate individual tiles/artworks, created by over 100 renowned, diverse, international artists. These artworks will act as enduring symbols of international cooperation, innovation and respect.

2. Foster viable and non-threatening means to unite all segments of the world - including populations suffering from both civil and international conflict and at a time when other efforts seem to be floundering - through this global project's engagement of a broad and varied ethnic, cultural, geographic, social and political mix of the world's artists, students and audiences.

3. Initiate and promote collaborations among a diverse group of international artists, their communities, non-profit art institutions and the educational sector at a grassroots level. This will be accomplished through 20 short-term artist residencies and public talks among the visiting international artists, school groups and those in the communities in which the 20 artists will be visiting throughout 2004.

4. Bring art directly into the public sphere - through the 22 public artworks, installations and exhibitions of the universities and schools' works, as well as virtually through our web site - where it can impact the public and their concerns at no cost to them and thus enable all people, of all income levels, to benefit from the project.

Art in the Age of Globalization


The project will:

1. Support art and artists that foster, embrace and celebrate the increasing role that globalization plays in the creation, interpretation and display of art today.

2. Encourage each installation artist to design a composite installation of tiles, sensitive to his/her own artistic, cultural, geographic, social and political heritage.

3. Turn strangers into neighbors and the world into a place in which we all can find a way to exist in harmony and embrace each others' diverse cultures and differences, just as the individual artworks (the sets of 100 mosaic tiles) will all be embraced and unified into composite artistic expressions such as mosaic murals or sculptures.

Education for the Future


The project will:

1. Involve artists and students in creating the artworks, while striving for the aspirations inherent in them, and through discussions, a lively exchange of the ideas surrounding them. Issues to be addressed in the classrooms include the examination of how images reflect their social, political, cultural and geographic contexts; how those contexts are part of a wider matrix of social, cultural and geographic globalization; and how both contexts - regional and global - can support a socially just and diverse world population.

As UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Culture states, "Culture in this sense is not only an instrument of peace and conciliation but also a powerful factor of development, and perhaps, even a key to a shared planetary future."

2. Provide related global educational programs, talks and panel discussions that promote world peace, tolerance and international cooperation at each of the project's global sites by bringing tiles and international artists into the classroom. Additionally, both the tiles and the international artists' visits can support cross-curriculum studies, including those relating cultural, historical, political, geographic, social and ethnic heritages and thus encourage a new generation of multicultural citizens.

3. Engage the latest web-technology to create lasting "virtual" pen pals via our web site to allow students and adults alike to interact as a global community and to strengthen a sense of global unity and understanding. To help TCE in this endeavor, the company Smart Media Design has donated virtual space and new software technology, simple enough for the K-12 students to create their own web sites and view the efforts of the other students participating in the project. Please see tce.smartworkspaces.com to view some of the K-12 websites relating to this project. SmartWorkSpaces of Cleveland, Ohio has generously donated the service, with TCE providing technological support and help for the use of this technology.

4. Link a broad base of people around the world in the spirit of learning and creativity through the project's workshops at each of the sites and through our classroom outreach programming, forging a sense of global friendship and good will.

5. Instill a love for higher learning amongst the K-12 students, by (whenever possible) putting them in contact with universities and artists participating in the program. For instance, members of the Somerville grade and middle schools attended a glass casting class at MIT, where they were able to watch, help and make glass tiles with their university counterparts.

6. Teach visual literacy by using the tiles and the tile installations as examples of how images convey ideas. As our world becomes increasingly visual - most business presentations, for instance, include powerpoint images, advertising is often purely visual, and the web is primarily a visual tool - visual literacy (understanding how images can communicate complex ideas) can be as important as the ability to read. Both are necessary tools in today's global market.

7. Train students in the basics of visual expression, teach them how those expressions form the basic principles of design and the design process, and introduce them to the terminology and concepts that underlie all the visual arts, which, in many ways, form the basis for the design of all physical objects. Along with learning various skills, the ability to think both critically and visually and how to work with different media, the students will also consider how the arts grow out of and respond to particular cultural contexts and ideas; they also will learn how those thinking patterns can be used in virtually all types of design, in all types of disciplines.

 




  

TransCultural Exchange
300 Summer Street, Unit 36
Boston, MA 02210-1122 USA
Phone: +1.617.670.0307

info@transculturalexchange.org


              

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