I watched this video more than a week ago. And though, watching it, I immediately felt it important to post it here and discuss it, I have taken some time to mull it over and digest the significance of Ze’s ideas. The most succinct way that I can think of to describe what Ze does, in general, is creating art through social networking. He is an artist; but not in the traditional sense. He doesn’t create so much as he sparks creation. He facilitates a sort of collaborative experience that emphasizes and showcases the process of creation as much (if not more than) the final product.
Being a teacher, I can’t help but think of the potential integration of Ze’s projects in the classroom. Take the last project mentioned in the video (if you watch nothing else, watch the segment from 12:13 on). Individuals contribute in unique and meaningful ways to a project that, when the separate parts are combined, becomes in a Gestalt-ish way greater than the sum of the individual contributions. Two key things come into play here: First, that the contributions of individuals needs to be unique, personal and meaningful. And second, that individuals come to experience and appreciate the value of collaborating toward a greater purpose ??? a purpose that individuals could not accomplish on their own.
What might a project like this look like in the classroom?