Category: GIF

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September is Deaf Awareness Month!

Hello Everyone!

September is Deaf Awareness Month!

Here are some things that you can do to help spread Deaf awareness at your campus, in your department, in your school, classroom, work place, community and beyond. This post has context. I’m a Deaf and Hard of Hearing digital art & design professor teaching here in CUNY (and beyond). This post is about representation, advocacy and awareness. We still have a lot of work to do to. Communication and language is our birthright! I made this series of animated GIFs to help you see how creativity can play a role in the facilitating of awareness. Lets jump in.

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

This month you can help spread awareness about Deaf culture, what does it means to be Deaf & Hard of Hearing (HofH) and experiencing the various spectrums of hearing loss. You can get involved and be proactive, here are a few ways to take-action, and by all means, SHARE THIS WIDELY!

What is it like to Deaf? Check out this video! (you can also use a search engine by asking the same question for more results and examples) Here is 1 of many many many examples.

Understanding comes through Awareness, lets dig in: even awareness takes practice!

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month - finger-spelling the word: practice

1. Learning, Sharing and Informing your Family, Friends, Colleagues and Students:

First, spread the word by sharing this post! Simply talking about Deaf Awareness Month is a great start. Let other people know by reaching out. This can easily take place in a department meeting, in the classroom, via a group e-mail or by creating an event or meet up to discuss. In your department, reach out to the Human Resources office and ask about the resources your campus offers. This may mean connecting to a specific person in charge or the office of accessibility / disabilities on or off the premises. If there aren’t any current resources, (and sadly, there may not be) then it is time to create them! Don’t forget to reach out to your librarians! (They are the most awesome resource (and awesome in general 🙂 and can help!) Let this post be a guide and a starting point. Again, awareness is everything, and awareness desires to always expand!

 

an ASL GIF animation for the word "Inspired"
via – https://giphy.com/signwithrobert/

Obviously, the Internet is filled with tons of resources, here are a few to help get you started and inspired!:

NAD https://www.nad.org/

American Deaf Culture

Deaf Culture – Wiki

Sign Language – Wiki

What Does it Mean to Be Deaf/ Hard of Hearing?

 

Lets learn a bit of ASL Historyhere is a great short video to help introduce you – and again, an internet search using the same terms of search query will gather tons of examples!

 

A bit more on ASL history can be found here:

https://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/history1.htm

https://www.handspeak.com/culture/index.php?id=86

 

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month with a NYC subway train loop

(animation translation – the subway cars above reads: “Deaf Awareness Month Graffiti”)

 

the american sign language alphabet - fingerspelling and hand shape chart

1. Learn A Sign Language: It’s time to learn a sign language! Here in the USA we use ASL, also known as American Sign Language. ASL is beautiful! It is an official foreign language. Even learning the basics of fingerspelling and the ASL alphabet goes a very long way.

I’m a big fan of smartphone applications like: The ASL App

Dr. Bill Vicars has a great website and his YouTube channel is a great place to start learning ASL!

I love Handspeak.com and Giphy.com also has a great search archive of various ASL teachers and personalities here

Gallaudet University also has a great free online course here.

There are a lot of options! Choose one and get started!

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month -finger spelling the word- brooklyn

Above: Now you know how to finger-spell ” BROOKLYN” in the American Sign Language Alphabet 🙂

 

For those of you here in NYC (and beyond as remote classes are now fully in place) I highly recommend taking classes at the Sign Language Center – they are so wonderful! I am a student there and cant say enough about how great they are!

Several CUNY colleges (and private colleges) also offer ASL classes at the beginner level (did you know that?) Take a peek at your local college’s course catalog or do a search for ASL / the name of your college, online. Many are offered online!

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

3. Join or Create a Sign Language Group: All colleges and university campuses have an allotted “club-hours” time each week for clubs on campus (and now remotely as many of us work, teach and attend classes from home.) Does your campus already have a Sign Language group or club? Inquire! If not, perhaps you can use the club-hours time to form an ASL club and practice learning Sign Language together. Learning with a friend or a group of people is a great way to inspire, encourage and motivate each other.

 

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

4. Support! Reach out to your local Deaf & Hard of Hearing Communities: This means, People, Businesses, Organizations and Groups! Once again, by reaching out to your campus HR dept. and or office of disabilities / accessibility and make an inquiry about how to get involved and who the contact names are for various groups, communities, events and businesses. Reach out!

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

5. Creativity – Go on and Create Something to Express Yourself: I made most of the animations in this post specifically for Deaf Awareness Month. You can get creative too! This can be done individually or in your classroom, it can be done with your department and fellow faculty members, administrators and staff. Collaborate! Make a sign, make a flyer, make a poster or a digital illustration. Hang them up around your department offices and in your classrooms online and offline. Get creative! Im going to be launching a multi-campus wide project soon to bring further awareness, I will be reaching out to YOU!

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

6. Closed Captions, Accessibility & Inclusion –  (THIS MEANS YOU!) – It is time to caption your videos and video meetings, yes, all of them! Its long overdue, its time to be inclusive and to provide accessibility for all. From now on, use ONLY a video conferencing application that has live and real time captions. Record your videos with captioning and make transcriptions available.There are so many platforms available today that work really well, they all provide transcripts and or the ability to record the video with captions. Zoom, REV, Google Meet, Skype, & MS Teams are just a few to name. This is the perfect month to take action and make the necessary changes, updates and adaptations so that all communication is inclusive and accessible. As a college professor teaching all of my courses remotely this semester, I have been using Zoom with the REV add-on for live and real time captions (I am 100% dependent on captions). I find that these two tools together work best for me and my disability. The captioning is fast and consistent while Zoom gives me the ability to see all of my students and select how I want to see the speaker/speakers in a full composite meeting. Yes, I lip and speech read! When I record my classes, I automatically record the captions and also produce an audio and text transcription.

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

Would you like to see more Ryan Seslow art surrounding Accessibility awareness?

Check out my online exhibition here

 

Please feel free to add to this series of resources in the comments section below! Thank you!

Contact me! Want to learn more, chat, connect and create some kind of an awareness based creative project with your students, class or faculty members? I’m here to help! e-mail here – rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu

A Drama in Monotones, The Tutorial..

A Drama in Monotones, The Tutorial

Early June, 2021, A new series of Digital Illustrations & Animated GIFs

(This post is an adaptation from my personal website, it has context here as it serves as an example and prompt for reflective writing about one’s process. How may you turn this into an assignment?)

Welcome to yet another new series of art works! Let’s talk about how they come together while we appreciate them, shall we? I have always felt that writing about my process itself is a very helpful way for me retain it and expand upon it. I always find myself inspired by the process itself, so why just narrate it inside my own head… I like to share, as you know! Lets examine, how did this series start? Where does it all come from? Where will it go? What am discovering in the process that I should make a note of? Let’s take a look. Im a big fan of open education and learning from others, I hope this post can help you! Scroll down and take in these first two illustrations.

 

“The Untitled Minimal Setting”, 2021 Digital Illustration

 

“The Untitled Minimal Setting II”, 2021 Digital Illustration

The two images above really fueled this whole series below. I know, that may seem strange, but this is what may happen sometimes with process. Sometimes I simply create an arbitrary “scene / setting” first, but it was really through some random experimenting this time. I knew that I wanted to work in monotones and play with some single color values. The trees in the illustrations above came as ready made graphic assets. It is a part of a photoshop brush plug-in set that I found online, (there are tons of free brush tool plug-ins out there for photoshop..) I applied the tree as a solid color image into a flat landscape that I made and duplicated it to use as a shadow on the ground. I then added a gradient overlay to the tree’s layer and I duplicated the trees and the shadows as layers. I placed them all into the composition. I made a few other variations of this scene but these two above are my favorites. This was all done in adobe photoshop.

Next..

I now knew that I wanted to add “something” or “someone” into the scene that I had just created. A narrative or perhaps a snippet of “life happening” in a fun or other-worldly way. I kept thinking about the nostalgia that childhood cartoons had and continues to play in my art. I also wanted to make this image move, animate and loop. I recalled something… oh yes, that drawing that I made a few months ago, those cool looking line characters were still waiting for me to activate them! The image above (click on it to expand and make it bigger) was a part of series of characters that were drawn with a stylus in adobe illustrator with my wacom tablet. Those smooth vector lines are so much fun to make and are also editable as paths. This makes it really fun to alter and stylize. I began to deconstruct the image and isolate several parts.

 

As I mentioned, from the big drawing above I derived a few fragments and played with them. I reconstructed them into new forms and assets to start making a new character with. I mean, sky is the limit here and I love discovering the possibilities to expand things into new works. Once I was happy with my new graphics I colorized them and isolated them onto one page. I brought the new illustrator file back into photoshop and made individual files and layers for each asset. I realize now that I only focused on the upper torso and the arms of the character but thats OK for now as I can always continue forward if the inspiration keeps stoking the fire for more! Haha, I know that it will!

 

This was the first composition of the new character placed into the setting. Once I did this I knew that I could easily animate it too. I still really like the static illustration and it forced me to make another one, which you see below (haha, and a few more!) The illustration below is a bit more abstract and possibly even more fun to look at, what do you think? I kept going.. obviously, wouldn’t you? 

 

It was fun to make this variation, and.. once I did, I decided to send all the individual assets to my phone and play around there too. There are so many ways to use mobile devices for digital marking.. that is another story for another post as go forward. I love the tension that different devices and interfaces give in terms of their screen resolutions and how things look across multiple devices or outdated tech.. For example, this week I will pull this image up on an old MacBook laptop that I have from the year 2009. I’ll take a few screen shots of it and transfer it to a mini DV tape and play it back through an older monitor, or something like that. Those screen captures and variants taken from things like a mini DV tape are so much fun to play with.

 

This illustration above was composed from those same assets using my iPhone. I used the “Glitch’e” app (check the app store or google play) to bring it all together (as layers) and play with the color. It is over saturated on purpose to give the impression of a bit more intensity and a warmer temperature in the “scene”. The cropping of the composition leads us to think that “something or someone” else is also participating in the dialog.

Does it work? Ok, let’s animate this thing!

 

Then.. it was finally time to fire up adobe after effects and bring this guy to life. First, I put that background on a seamless directional loop to the left (I expanded the background layer / screen by twice the length of it) so that the character would appear to be moving forward in a walk cycle. This is my first iteration of this animation cycle. I like it so far but I want to do more with it. I need to fix a few of my puppet warp movements, or should I make it “glitch” more? Hmmm, Ill play with it a bit more and already think I have another idea..

 

Welp, as I mentioned, once things get going, its kind of hard to stop pushing the limits with creativity. I started to bring in “other elements” from things that were previously made. I make a ton of graphic assets from my illustrations and applied art works. This is the beauty of digital art, there is such a powerful immediacy to aspects of it. Of course, making the assets can be super time consuming depending on what you are doing. For example, working with the pen tool in photoshop or illustrator.. either way, its good practice and the assets are always waiting for you! I kept going and made things a bit more abstract… Thoughts?

 

Net-Art Exhibition: Waking Accessibility Awareness..

Waking Accessibility Awareness…

Works by Ryan Seslow – 2021

This new body of digital illustration, animated GIFs and animated video is a series of reactions and expressions that address the continued lack of Accessibility and Inclusion in our 2021 reality. The series is a continuum to my ongoing exhibition: “Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self” – you can view that here. 

I know, the title itself might be making you feel uncomfortable. Thats good because it may activate some action and accountability, or at least a series of questions. Are you up for it? Are you someone who continues to make and publish video content online with out adding captions or adding a written description of some kind to support the audio in the video? Are you hosting video or audio only based meetings with out closed captions or a live transcriber? Are you one of those people who has a podcast and shares it as an “audio-only” piece of media? Hmm, do realize how many people are left out as a result of that lack of accessibility awareness? The sad part is, you or the company or organization that you work with may have an expanded audience and a following of 1K – 30K – 100,000K people (or more). You widely use, or are asked to use and support various digital tools with out ever questioning if those tools are inclusive and accessible for everyone to receive your content? Why is accessibility and inclusion an after-thought for you and what are you going to do about it? I know, you may say; “its not ill meaning, or maliciously intended”.. I do empathize and have a lot patience.. but Im still waiting, and waiting.. will you do something about this?

A part of me feels that this new body of work can and should be shared as its own exhibition. Even though it is an expansion of the body of works mentioned in the link above, this particular series has been created over the duration of the pandemic. It is another response to the continued fight for basic accessibility and inclusion for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. Each individual piece is an expression to a range of narratives that have played out. I am using looping animations as a medium to share this conceptually as a cycle that seems to never end. The works also display the dichotomy of responses that I have experienced from people through various online platforms. This ranges from caption-less video chats & meetings, e-mail, text messages and social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram. As I write this I am both happy and angry. Happy for the small changes that some people / institutions have made via our communication about the awareness of accessibility / inclusion and how to facilitate it. But I am really angry at those who have taken a more “salty” and “dismissing” attitude and approach after being called out on their lack of accessibility and awareness of inclusion. Feeling angry is a good thing, it allows me to channel and exercise the anger, I have done that through these pieces below.

 

“No Captions, No Transcripts, No Access”, 2021 Digital Illustration

 

“The Accountability of One’s Reflection”, 2021 Animated GIF

 

“The Caption-less Podcaster” 2021, Animated GIF

 

“The Continued Clubhouse Accessibility After-Thought”, 2021, Animated GIF

 

“The Overstimulated & the Excluded”, 2021, Animated GIF

 

“Even the Word Patience gets Anxiety”, 2021, Animated GIF

 

“The Oblivious & Caption-less Zoom Hosts”, 2021, Animated GIF

 

“The Endless Vibrational Run for Access”, 2020, Animated GIF

 

“But He Can Speak, Are You Sure He Can’t Hear?”, 2020, Digital Still Frame Illustration

 

“All of My Access is Chaos”, 2020 (revised from a 2017 iteration), Animated GIF

 

“Masked Garble on Repeat”, 2021, Animated GIF

 

“Accessibility & Inclusion? It’s Not Our Fault!” 2021, Looped Animated Video

 

Please contact for availability – ryan (at) ryanseslow.com

The Transcendent Energy of Play in the Classroom

The Transcendent Energy of Play in the Classroom

This post coincides with my guest talk on Monday 5/3/21 with the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy course.

Welcome!

Many thanks to Luke & Lisa, and the ITP students for having me!

I thought that writing a blog post here would be both timely and fun for this talk. It might be full of typos, those happen, haha, they can always be fixed 🙂 This post serves as an example and a potential to create and expand the overall synopsis, dialog, resources, feelings, philosophies and of course necessary contextual links! I hope through our interaction both here and during our talk that it will inspire you to create a playful, collaborative project for yourself, for this class that you are in, for the ones that you are teaching, and also with me here on the Net Art site! This is an inclusive, accessible and safe public space for all.

After our talk, be sure to scroll down to the “Reflections & further Pondering” part at the bottom of this post to share your thoughts. No pressure of course 🙂

 

Words like “playfulness, play and fun” are and have always been an essential parts of my teaching and learning practice. I directly extract the physical energy and emotions that these words activate with in me. I visually connect those feelings to bright sunshine. I connect playfulness to an overall lighthearted and open demeanor that can be applied to almost anything. It’s reflective to childhood and the wonders of learning, creativity and intuition. Playfulness is such a great form of expression as a medium. It sets an open invitation to access rapport. We can help each other learn this way, it is a passion of mine and Im not going to stop anytime soon 🙂

 

"communication" fingerspelled in American sign language

(Above – “Communication” – finger-spelled hand-shapes in American Sign Language)

Everything comes down to Communication. We all want to be loved, appreciated, heard, understood and included. I believe that this is our greatest life’s work, to learn how to best and fully communicate from the inner knowingness of who we are. Of course this is a journey through our constant growth of challenging our life experiences and how we reflect on them. Communication is our birthright and we all must tell our own story.

 

And then.. the Internet shows up..

 

Links for Context and Usefulness

(Feel free to use, remix, hack and expand upon anything here)

 

The Story / About the Net-Art website, Creativity & Experimental Pedagogy

NET-ART’s Rolling OPEN-CALL for Submissions

 

Graphic Design Workshop at the GC 2019

Rebirth of the Course Syllabus, The Visual Aesthetic – Part 1

How to Write your MFA thesis in Fine Art & Beyond – Commons Paper

Why Should I make a Portfolio?

The Net Art Course Lightning Talk

 

Cross CUNY Campus Zine Collab with the NYPL

Cross CUNY, Galluadet & Touro Zine Collab

Collabs with MBS

 

Check out this semesters undergrad course website flow:

CT101 – Digital storytelling – (commons)

MMA 100 Foundation of Graphic Design – (openlab)

 

Animated gif of a landscape passing through the interior space..

For more Ryan Seslow on the web – ryanseslow.com

I make a lot of GIFs, Check out my work on Giphy here

Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self – The Online Exhibition

@ryanseslow – on twitter & instagram

 

Reflections & further Pondering:

In the comments section below, please leave your general reflections on this talk and the content presented.

What stands out?

What are the main take aways from this experience that you can implement and take action on right away?

What things do you struggle with as a student, educator and contributor to the world of education? 

Feel free to share links, and other relatedness.

 

Thank You so much!

 

 

 

 

An Agent of Accountability – A Digital Storytelling Prompt

An Agent of Accountability – A Digital Storytelling Prompt

*Assignment prompt – Create and apply digital imagery to exercise, express and extend a metaphor 

(this post is my example)

 

<begin-transmission>

An agent has manifested from with-in you. You are fully responsible for creating and bringing the agent forward. You might not understand what that means just yet, but you will. The agent is made out pixels and rasters. Each pixel is recordable and programable. They each hold a unique series of your emotions, behaviors, interactions and potentials. The agent lives completely on screen and is co-dependent on your device usage and screen time. You thought that you could hide behind the screen, potentially conceal your identity, remain anonymous, and a mystery… but the agent knows otherwise. The agent is here for accountability.

The journey begins from here.. please scroll down.

This image above was seemingly the first recorded visual iteration of the Agent. It’s meta data has been corrupted and continues to be untraceable.. there is also evidence of the original file reconfiguring itself by single characters just to jam the reading/extraction or processing of the information for testing.

A visualization was created above to show “how” the agent entered the Internet grid. The simulation suggests that it was through an open port glitch. This is a vast statement as the range of “open ports” are extremely infinite as uploads and software updates take place around the clock, server to server, port to port. There is an unproven theory that agents can and do enter the grid from simple plug-in updates via the open-source platform, WordPress..

The image above is the most current image that continues to manifest in multiple places. Although there continue to be iterations, much like the two images below that were discovered in late April, 2021. The origin of the iterations are still speculative and only educated guess’s continue to surface with little to no real science based data as to why. What do the iterations represent? Why are they needed? Are they metaphors for pressing / avoided inner demons and issues? Are they there to continue to remind us that we are in a loop? We will continue to follow the process and keep you updated..

<transmission- snip>