What is Voke?

Voke honors emerging voices in the field of art education by providing an online platform that encourages dialogue, poses provocative questions and pushes the boundaries of academic thought and its presentation.

Our aim is to provide a versatile digital platform for provocative research by emerging and experienced art education professionals, presented in a visual way that reflects the field’s engagement with contemporary media culture and takes advantage of the breadth of expressive forms art practitioners can employ to present research. To this end, Voke is interested not only in soliciting visual research but in scaffolding traditional researchers’ development of heterodox modes of presentation of their work, and fostering productive partnerships between traditional researchers and art practitioners to develop engaging visual articulations of pertinent research.

What is Visualized Research?

By emphasizing the art in art education research, a field historically characterized by written scholarship, Voke aims to engage a diverse audience and facilitate dialogue among researchers, artists, teachers, and students. Our goal is to present fresh ideas in artistic forms that reflect and inspire provocative thought. Contributions require two main components: a citation-driven literature review, and a visualized research object articulating and expanding upon that body of research. These objects take full advantage of digital media to offer readers alternative means of encountering information. Short films, interactive documents, podcasts, procedural artwork, screencasts, poetry, games, and photography are all possible examples of visualized research; they creatively represent research in an effort to challenge surface-level interaction with ideas.

For examples of visualized research projects, look at some of the projects on the Voke frontpage, or at the examples on Kairos, a technology and rhetoric journal which presents similar work of a different disciplinary bent (for instance, Deborah Balzhiser et al.’s The Facebook Papers, which appropriates the form of a Facebook page, and its inherent structural biases, to document and discuss the project of using Facebook in teaching undergraduate writing). Vectors is another tech and culture journal which features exclusively electronic, multimedia presentations of research (for example, McKenzie Wark’s Totality for Kids, a hypertextual graphic novel framing the history of the First Situationist international, or Greg J. Smith and Erik Loyer’s Critical Sections, which deconstructs and juxtaposes filmic, textual, and architectural representations of the city of Los Angeles). Other exemplars beyond academic journals include the New York Times online feature The Russia Left Behind, which weaves design, interactivity, video and photo into a single multimedia text, or Darius Kazemi’s examination of the level-generation algorithms of the indie game Spelunky, which embeds a modified version of the game itself into the text which illustrates the underlying designed structures of the game.

More information on the requirements for contributing visualized research projects, and on Voke’s editorial process, can be found on the SUBMISSIONS page.

Voke’s Story

Voke grew out of an extended research exploration conducted by a team of graduate students in the Art Education Department of Virginia Commonwealth University under the guidance of Dr. Sarah B. Cunningham, in which this group collaborated with several state arts integration programs to draw up recommendations for a National Coalition for Arts Integration.

The founding members of Voke’s editorial board began drafting Voke’s model and mission in Summer 2012, following their presentation of this arts integration research at the Arts Education Partnership‘s Spring 2012 National Forum. At the Forum, attendees expressed a perceived value in graduate-level research, in emerging voices with fewer institutional affiliations. Following this experience, and recognizing this expressed need, the team endeavored to develop a platform for emerging voices in the field to share provocative research in unorthodox ways.

Academic research is traditionally the purview of established practitioners and adheres to the form of written reports. However, digital technology is changing who can publish academic research and how it is presented and disseminated. Many academic journals now have an online presence, but translating printed text into a digital format does not always capitalize on new media’s full potential. Researchers and publishers are increasingly interested in finding ways to further explore the digital medium, reshaping how individuals access and interact with information. Voke has identified a gap in visualized research that omits art education, especially graduate students and emerging practitioners, and seeks to rectify that omission.

Voke’s development was made possible by a Graduate Research Grant, and extensive institutional support and encouragement, provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts.

Voke Editorial Staff
lmLuke Meeken
Senior Editor
lmSarah Cunningham
Assistant Editor
lmJill Palumbo
Associate Editor
lmRyan Patton
Assistant Editor
lmLauren Austin
lmJessica Jones
Assistant Editor
Voke Editors/Reviewers
Lauren Austin
Donna Clovis
Rachael Cohen
Sarah Cunningham
Tracey Hunter-Doniger
Jessica Jones
Heather Kaplan
Luke Meeken
Erika Ogler
Jill Palumbo
Ryan Patton
Ellen Piangerelli
Lauren Rouatt
Neal Swisher
Jesse Sterling White