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A Review of Ivan Cash’s Culture Jamming Course on Skillshare

I tried out this course on "Culture Jamming" to see if it would boost my creativity – read my review to see if it might be able to help you also.

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Culture Jamming on Skillshare: Our Verdict (2023)

COURSE Rating

3.2 / 5

Ivan Cash's "DIY Creative Experiments: The Art of Culture Jamming" introduces fresh and creative ways to see the world outside of the box. The workshop begins with a definition of culture jamming and is followed by some hands-on activities in which we investigate, evaluate, and arrive at fascinating revelations. It is for people who want to play with stereotypes that are prevalent in culture, get some enlightening conclusions, and ultimately develop creative courage. With basic tools like a smartphone and post-it notes, it caters to all skill levels. Ivan's method enables people to realize their ideas while maintaining their creative integrity.

Pros

  • Helps to nourish the creativity
  • Real-world applicability
  • Relevance regardless of experience level

Cons

  • Students may feel uncomfortable implementing disruptive ideas in real life (and lead to real-world tensions!)
  • A time-consuming process

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Culture” as a concept refers to a set of beliefs, customs, behaviors, and practices followed by a group of people or society – and tends to be a fairly static and slow-moving concept. However, when you think outside of your cultural comfort zone, new ideas can take off, sparking creativity and social change. This is the idea behind Ivan Cash’s Skillshare Original course on “Culture Jamming.” Let’s have a deeper look to see if this course might help you achieve that goal!

Table of Contents

DIY Creative Experiments: The Art of Culture Jamming” by Ivan Cash is a Skillshare Original – one of several courses produced by the platform on boosting creativity. The 26-minute program is divided into 8 modules, including an introduction to culture jamming, a description of public experiments, observations, and a student exercise.

Ivan Cash, the course instructor
The course instructor, Ivan Cash

Who is Ivan Cash?

Ivan Cash is a San Francisco-based interactive artist who develops social initiatives that challenge cultural norms and engage people in fresh ways. Ivan is passionate about imparting knowledge and expertise to others, as is clear from his considerable teaching experience. Additionally, he organized a semester-long “Culture Jamming” course at California College of the Arts and taught Creative Ideas at the Miami Ad School.

Who is this course for?

The class takes a very broad view of culture and creativity, resulting in that it’s relevant for anyone interested in boosting their creativity,

irrespective of their ability levels. There is no need for prerequisite knowledge or specific experience. All that you need is a desire to learn about the art of culture jamming and the courage to come out of your comfort zone.

Utilizing basic tools such as your smartphone and post-it notes to complete the exercises
Using simple tools, like your smartphone and post-it notes, to carry out the exercises

What topics does Ivan Cash cover in his session?

Ivan Cash’s DIY Creative Experiments: The Art of Culture Jamming discusses culture jamming and its applications, which are described in 8 lessons. They are:

Lesson 1: A brief introduction to culture jamming and a course overview.

Lesson 2: This lesson delves into the concept of culture jamming, which involves disrupting mainstream culture and communication. By engaging in culture jamming, individuals assert their creative ideas instead of merely receiving information passively, ultimately contributing to cultural transformation.

Lesson 3: Cash presents an activity called Camera Roulette. Participants are instructed to select a random image from their phone gallery and engage in a discussion about it. This activity aims to reveal the stories and memories connected to seemingly ordinary pictures, emphasizing how even the mundane can hold special significance.

Lesson 4: This lesson introduces a hands-on activity that involves going into the real world with only a notepad and pen to observe and understand unique behaviors and question assumptions about the world. After this 30-minute observation period, students are encouraged to share the three most intriguing observations during a discussion session.

Lesson 5: In this lesson, there is an activity where students are instructed to generate creative ideas within a limited time frame. The goal is to encourage students to express their creative ideas without worrying about their quality.

Lesson 6: This lesson continues from the previous session. After creating post-it notes, students are instructed to categorize them into likes, undecided, and don’t like groups. They should then condense each idea into a single sentence and envision them as news headlines. Lastly, students are asked to choose an idea from the likes category and share it on the project board. This exercise promotes creative thinking and idea development without the need to focus on quality.

Lesson 7: Following the brainstorming session, the next phase involves presenting the chosen ideas as practical actions. Although some students may feel uneasy about this, it helps enhance their creative thinking. A designated person should be hired to record these presentations to analyze the responses received. The ultimate goal for this session is to make a person in a business suit smile.

Lesson 8: This lesson serves as the concluding segment of this class. It emphasizes that engaging in activities like these is often more effective without seeking prior permission, as permission may not always be granted. Furthermore, it encourages the repetition of this process and the allocation of additional time until the message is effectively communicated to the public.

Bringing your project into the real world
Taking your project out into the real world

What I liked about this course

I found the emphasis on disrupting established cultures and communications particularly useful, as the course provides practical ways to push us out of our comfort zones and encourages us to think critically and question the status quo. For anyone who hopes to make a significant impact on culture, this approach promotes creative boldness and self-empowerment.

Getting disruptive ideas into practice through brainstorming sessions and going out into the community were enlightening exercises. I learned the importance of observation and that even seemingly unimportant thoughts can have profound cultural consequences. As a whole, this course inspired me to think outside the box and act in unexpected ways about culture and communication.

What I liked less about this course

Putting disruptive ideas into practice in public often leads to reluctance and resistance, which I didn’t particularly enjoy about the training. It’s natural to feel uneasy, but I wish there were more methods for getting beyond these obstacles and developing confidence. Also, a more comprehensive examination of cultural problems and methods for resolving them would have been beneficial. Despite this, I believe I gained valuable insight into innovative thinking and cultural disruption from the course, which will aid me in the future.

How much does the course cost?

Courses on Skillshare can not be bought individually – they can only be accessed by signing up for a Skillshare membership. The good news? Skillshare offers e-student.org learners a full month free trial if you use our link (if not using our link, there is normally only a 7-day free trial). As virtually all Skillshare courses will take you less than a month to complete, you can in effect take this or any other Skillshare course for free – or any number of courses that you can finish in a month.

Once your free trial is over, the cost of Skillshare is $165 per year, which averages out to $13.75 per month. This gives you full access to all 34,000+ Skillshare courses. But if you're not happy to continue, you can easily cancel any time before your free trial ends – just go to your payment settings in your account.

If you have no need for a free trial, you can instead get %30 discount on your first year by using this special link instead. With this link, your first year will be just $115.50, averaging out to $9.63 per month. Note that this offer is only valid for new accounts, so it can't be combined with the 30-day free trial.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday offer 2023: Note that Skillshare is running an even better offer for the holidays, with a 50% discount on your membership (expires 30 November 2023).

Review conclusion: Is the course worth it?

To sum up, Ivan Cash’s Culture Jamming workshop provides a worthwhile educational opportunity but with room for improvement. Students are taught to question societal conventions and question the dominant culture. Learners are given the tools to find their unique perspectives and come up with creative ways to present their thoughts. From novices to experienced creatives, the course is made to be accessible to people from any profession. It gives students the tools to express themselves and pushes them to try new things, make errors, and cultivate their creative minds.

It would be worthwhile to take Ivan Cash’s Culture Jamming class if you are interested in exploring unconventional communication methods, challenging the status quo, and finding your creative voice. It is a platform for personal and artistic growth, and the skills learned apply to many fields of creativity. Let your creative side shine – you may just discover an entirely new area of your skill set if you can disrupt the conventionality.