Estranging the Device

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  • Title: Estranging the Device: Media Art Pedagogy via Brecht, Heidegger, and McLuhan
  • Author(s): Kevin Day
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Arts Education
  • Keywords: Media Art, Digital Media, Philosophy of Technology, Art Education, Media Studies, Estrangement, Brecht, McLuhan, Heidegger
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2020
  • ISSN: 2326-9944 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-0306 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Day, Kevin. 2020. "Estranging the Device: Media Art Pedagogy via Brecht, Heidegger, and McLuhan." The International Journal of Arts Education 15 (1): 11-18. doi:10.18848/2326-9944/CGP/v15i01/11-18.
  • Extent: 8 pages


Drawing from theories of art education, philosophy of technology, and art history, the article will examine the pedagogical potential of media art practices. It points to what some thinkers of media and technology have argued to be technology's propensity to operate in a clandestine manner and the necessity to probe such operation for the analysis of technology. Responding to such perspective, it proposes the argument that the artistic tactic of “estrangement” as theorized by German playwright Bertolt Brecht aligns productively with theories of art pedagogy—that art ruptures the dominant ways of knowing—and the imperative to examine the clandestine operations of the medium as outlined by philosophy of technology, such that “estrangement” exemplifies the potential that media art can offer critical insight about contemporary digital media technologies through a disruption to today's technological norms.