Category: Reactive Writing Assignments

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Ink Jet Printer Print Remixing in the Studio

Ink Jet Printer Print Remixing in the Studio

Well, its April now..

Been at it again.. those tensions between wanting to make more digital art work versus making more analog based art work. Its weird to use the word “analog” instead of “applied” but I guess they are really similar. Allow me to elaborate. I always want to learn. Its an obsession and an addiction. Its a good addiction though, and the word addiction is probably over used in this context. I became aware that computers were a tool for making art as far back as 1986. The fact that I could learn to write a simple program that would visually display the action of repetition was all I needed to know, really. Well, and to see as well to understand “how” this new tool would help and forever change the way that art can be made and communicated. The word repetition is one of my favorite “principles” of art and design. The process of repetition can easily be displayed as a pattern, or a series of patterns, just like physical actions and behaviors can be observed and recorded as patterns. MEMEs are also patterns and have roots in psychology and behavior. So, do a little bit of math in your head and think about how this example effects you? Repetition in behavior eventually equates to practice. Sometimes this “practice” is totally intentional and we do it with awareness and other times, well, we unconsciously engage into the unconscious practice of behaviors that also equal patterns that may not be great for us.. but what about process based patterns of techniques?

 

The image above is a constructive, addition based relief sculpture made from found and recycled wood scraps. Each piece was found, accumulated, saved and later arranged into this composition (wood glue held it together at the time.) The image is taken from a bird’s eye view to help give the impression that the piece is flat (the bird’s eye view is me standing on the table with the camera.) The photo itself creates the overall two-dimensional impression.. (the actual sculpture has been dismantled and released back into the ongoing scrap bin graveyard of an ex-sculptors memories…) as I write this, I find it curious that I mainly documented the piece in this way. What did I for-see or know about this pieces legacy back then subconsciously? This is an image of the completed sculpture on the wood-shop studio table, before it was exhibited a few weeks later.

 

The actual sculpture was created in 2014, exhibited 1 time in public and then stored in my studio along with a few other similar works. OK, I actually made a ton of pieces in this similar process, style and technique, Ill dig them up soon again, and if you know my work, you can see where the latest paper sculptures come from. Lets face it, light and lighting plays a big role in the capture of images, and in this case, both images are not great examples of the sculpture in good light. But the placement and displacement of the piece hopefully helps the viewer to see some of the potential of where the idea evolved to and from. The piece looks very different against a plain white wall with a light source applied to it.

 

I rediscovered the 1st image recently (because I finally zipped, exported and downloaded my entire tumblr archives.. 3.9 Gigs worth..) and opened it in adobe photoshop. I got excited. I used the pen tool to create a series of paths that traced around the outside contour line of the sculpture’s form and image as a whole. I converted the paths into a selection and copied it and pasted it back into the original image as it own layer. I scaled it down by 60% and rotated the image 45 degrees counter clockwise. Wallah! This is the outcome above. I suppose it was the tinkering with this image that helped me see the potential of how I could extend my experiments with this piece, which now had become completely not only two-dimensional but also existing purely as a very flat digital file. The image above activated the energy, I knew I must take further action!

 

Above, the 2021 outcome! Well, #1 for now – I got really curious and began to see the potential of another tool, my old friend, the ink-jet printer! I dusted it off, thanked it for its trusted service and loaded it up with some glossy paper and began printing out the form that I cut out and re-mixed into the first image. I cut the image up into fragments and pieces of different scales and covered each piece with clear packing tape. I also left a stroke of white to contour each piece that I cut out, I think it helps! The tape, this was just in case I wanted to plant a few up in the street here in my neighborhood, which is always fun to do. The tape helps protect it for a while from the elements.. and also keep its form in tact. Plus, it gives the image the appearance of a sticker or decal. I made this arrangement above. The piece has some gauge too, it pops off of the surface of the wall at about 2.5 inches. The entire thing is adhered with thick gorilla duct tape on each piece. Duct tape is very temperature sensitive so when the temp in the room changes, things will shift and move a bit. I like how that fuses together with the fact that each piece is just printed paper with clear tape over it. The seemingly “cheap” medium tricks the eye into thinking this is something much more like wood, does it not?

 

Above you can see how the piece integrates itself into a few other works on my studio wall. The piece to the left is a figurative arrangement made in a similar way using bristol paper and duct tape and the portrait is a digital manipulation made from some data-bending techniques (that portrait image also has a layer of clear transparent packing tape on it.) I think that the clear tape actually adds another layer of saturation to the printed image. I think this picture helps give an impression of the overall scale of things too. Perhaps these pieces all kind of work well together too..?

 

This is a larger detail of the data-bent portrait. It contains several layers that have been manipulated in photoshop. I feel that it looks OK as a digital image on screen, but there is just something so nice about the over saturation feel of the ink jet print quality that just seems to help the overall aesthetic of this. Of course I am biased as the creator of it.. haha. Will this piece make the NFT cut? Perhaps? Lets see what it led to below.

 

The image above follows the same idea as the wood piece up at the top of this post. This is also an ink-jet print out that I cut up into fragments and covered in clear packing tape. I used loops of duct tape to hold the pieces and parts together onto the wall. It helps that wall is also made of painted brick and that its pretty old.. vintage aesthetics man.. When I first made this piece I felt that it was really missing something and or was just too busy for the eye to follow, but my IG peeps seemed to love it and also supported the piece as it was, and I don’t mind being wrong at all! I love it now, and its good to share where the original came from as this piece was purely digital at the start, made in 2017 and never printed or displayed off of a “screen”. See below.

 

The moral of this story, there is definitely a lot of value still in print, remixing and reviving older works. We have repositories of images from our own work.. Especially for works that are purely digital and for works that are purely applied. Seeing the work in the opposite context creates a good tension that will usually result in the making of new work! The work may surprise you more than you think! OK, so now Im off to make some 3D models of these for Virtual Reality :))))

Metaphoric Narratives with the Nature of Nature

Metaphoric Narratives with the Nature of Nature

2020/2021 Digital Illustration

Aaaaand we are back with another series of digital art works and a bit of a “how to” process post. Forgive me for the title of this blog post.. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be an assignment tutorial of some kind, or just an over-sharing process and rambling session. It will serve as all of the above. Ok, so, lets face it, we all love photoshop. We all love the pen-tool and the ability to cut, create, apply and remix images with our graphic assets. Yes? Of course! OK OK, Ill get down to brass tacks already.. In this series I wanted to create and play with some fictional characters and also displace them into my everyday surroundings. It is in this process of being experimental that new narratives seem to poke at and guide us. Lets jump in. Of course I am sharing this process from the perspective of my own art making but also will use the steps to illustrate a class assignment for my foundation design and digital storytelling students. The ability to create well balanced and compelling compositions is skill set that is fun to cultivate and it never gets old. “Let’s always be practicing”, practicing  the ability to compose and create while mastering the dimensions of our picture plane. (that academic jargon…)

 

The gang is all here.. This example shares an integration of characters and the ability to use repetition, duplicates and scale (plus those shadows…). I love walking past the Brooklyn Museum in my neighborhood. I love the building itself and wanted to use it as one of the locations for this new “situation” to occur..

 

This image was taken outside of the Brooklyn Public Library, it shares a series of imagery and the application of a character. Our hero has found itself as a part of public advertisement. Perhaps this is fictional? OK, it is, but think about how your everyday surroundings may offer an opportunity for you to intervene, hack, displace and re-contextualize things. There is beauty in the seemingly banal or redundant, and what I mean by this is our everyday surroundings. We have the power to transform and transcend them. Visual imagery and image-making is a fun way to participate and also see the world in a new way.

 

By default, your friends are going to show up! Another example of repetition, composition and scale variation. Does this illustration tell a more compelling story than the image above it? Are the additional plants needed? What do they add to the composition and story? What is their intention here? Will they expand and take over? Well…

 

Above, is the original image that I took at Prospect Park that inspired the entirety of this series. (Im back tracking the narrative of this post a bit… just like in the Film “Pulp Fiction”… haha, not exactly but Im thinking about that..) The algae was really think and particularly a warmer value of saturated green than I recalled from most visits to this spot. It was also late July and pretty warm outside. Sometimes all it takes is one experience, story or image that causes the creativity trigger. After I took the picture I immediately reflected upon a memory of the 1980s film “Swamp Thing”.. are you old enough to remember that movie? Lol, I was just a kid when it came out but I loved it! So, I got inspired, fast! The image below was the first iteration beyond the “normal” picture that I took. But there is more to this puzzle below..

 

Sooo, you recognize the image below.. that is where the plant came from. Its one of the 5 plants (and growing) that I take care of..(its much bigger now as I write this a few months later too). Im illustrating all of this to help give you a bit of insight into the immediate and very intuitive thinking and creation process that I go through. I like the immediacy of using my own surrounds and digital image captures. This can all be so easily synced with other forms of media found in the public domain or via other creative commons resources. Plus, I experience the process as a muscle, it wants to be exercised, nurtured and practiced. It wants to grow!

 

I brought the image into photoshop and used the pen tool to cut it out. Once I had it free as an asset I started constructing my character. The figure was extracted from a painting found in the MET Museums Digital Open Access Image Archive of public domain works. There is a lot of good stuff there!

 

OK, so this fellow is NOT exactly “Swamp Thing” but it certainly expressed that energy and inspired the flow of the illustrations. I animated this guy below and also added it as a sticker on Instagram. If you use Instagram Stories, under the GIF search option you can put in my name (ryan seslow) and find this guy below… use it at will! There are some some others there too 🙂

Well, one idea leads to another and I kept going.. this is another character and asset above. The static image wanted to be added to a narrative and that narrative became a looping animated GIF. Its a short surreal story, and it was fun to make…

 

The Assignment Details:

Simply: Using this post as your inspiration, dig into your intuition and creative impulses and create a fun hybrid character that you can interject or displace into a narrative using your familiar surrounds.

Have fun and be sure to share your work here!

Metaphoric Tactical Displacements

Special Ops agents find themselves displaced into an art gallery

“Metaphoric Tactical Displacements”, 2020, Digital Illustration

Two 3D generated figures dressed in special ops / tactical gear are placed into an art gallery. The viewer of the image is provoked to ponder what the circumstances are that brought together this “situation?” The frame is in mid-sequence appearing to be paused from its motion as we observe a seemingly ceaselessness of the characters. The art work on the wall is subjective, yet colorful, energetic and benevolent. It appears to be resembling a character from an animated film or a video game. It is familiar yet not completely objective. Is it the art work itself that is displaced in this image? Or is the image as a whole a representation or a reflection of something much closer to present day reality?

Add your response below.

Fall 2020 NET-ART OPEN-CALL for Submissions!

Its that time Again!

The NET-ART OPEN-CALL for Submissions continues this semester!

FALL 2020 Edition

What does this mean? What is NET-ART on the Commons?

The NET-ART 2020 academic calendar is now accepting submissions on a rolling proposal basis in the following criteria:

  1. Electronic Media / Experimental Pedagogy
  2. Animated GIFS
  3. Digital Art
  4. VIDEO ART / Experimental Film
  5. NET-ART (Works created in and displayed in a web browser)
  6. Class / Course Collaboration
  7. Digital & Analog ZINEs
  8. Curatorial (A Curated Group Exhibition)
  9. Solo Exhibition
  10. Related “Otherness” pitched to us

Looking for useful tools, apps & tutorials to get your submission started? CLICK HERE!

Looking for examples of “what” has been submitted previously? Explore here!

The NET-ART Submission Guidelines:

Submissions may be generated by CUNY faculty, students of all levels, alumni & community members. CUNY classes/courses may also submit collaborative proposals as a group. CUNY faculty & students may also collaborate with others from outside of CUNY as well.

All submitted works will be featured and published as individual blog posts as well as added to existing galleries on the NET-ART website.

Depending on the submission’s proposal, relevant and in context, various submissions will be published and exhibited as an individual page created specifically for the project.

All submissions should be described in written detail with a clear vision, context and meaning. Supporting images and links should be provided as well.

Authors of the submissions and their collaborators must be willing to participate, respond to comments and expand upon their projects with incoming queries via the commons, twitter and beyond.

The purpose of exhibiting submissions in various categories displays a platform for creative and experimental methods of pedagogy. Please consider how your work will contribute to a larger whole that will be archived for teaching, learning, reference and posterity.

We anticipate your submissions!

Question, Proposals & Submissions can be sent via e-mail or via Twitter to:

rseslow@york.cuny.edu  /  @ryanseslow 

 

Happy Deaf Awareness Month!

Hello Everyone!

Here are some things that you can do to help spread Deaf Awareness at your campus, in your department, in your school, classroom, community and beyond. This post has context. Im a Deaf and Hard of Hearing college professor teaching here in CUNY. This post is about representation, advocacy and awareness.

an animated GIF to promote deaf awareness month

This month you can help spread awareness about Deaf culture, what 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!

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! Let this post be a guide and a starting point. Again, awareness is everything!

 

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:

 

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

(translation – the subway cars above read: “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 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 college’s course catalog or do a search for ASL / the name of your college, 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

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@york.cuny.edu

The Trickery of a Memories Memory

a digital image of a sculpture of a hard drive

(Read the description here first as it is the assignment’s example)

The Trickery of a Memories Memory..

“The Elusive Memory of Memories from a project about how we think we process Memory” 2020, Digital Ink Jet Print.

(adhered to a brick wall with a temporary adhesive , 1/1 edition)

Context – the digital ink jet print is a photograph of a sculpture. Sculpture origins display the human need to “attempt to make things last forever”, however, this sculpture has melted. Its a reminder. As a Deaf person, I constantly think that I remember the way that certain things used to sound. There is stored memory of those memories. Its a series of fragments and what I choose to tell myself. The image was printed – which is another metaphor of a reproduction to access the past. The past was “cut to its contour” taken from its original digital photograph of the outdated hard-drive mold that was cast in red colorize water. The color red was used to imply visual heat and the passion of emotion, but the nature of temperature applies its earthly laws.. The water was frozen and a cast positive replica was released and composed onto a table. (As I “recall” the capturing process) The cast object was photographed and taken as a metaphor to preserve the ephemerality and the array of lifetime stories that we tell ourselves.

We can always rewrite the story… right?

This is the original digital photograph of the actual cast / frozen mold of the hard drive, can you tell the difference? This cast weighs 2 pounds – the digital one above is as light as a feather..

 

Assignment:

Title: The Digital Displacement of an Object displayed as a Metaphor

In this assignment you will need:

Access to a printer and the ability to print an image. An image that you would like to work with (think a digital photo that you will take with your phone) and the ability to crop, trim and manipulate the image once it has been printed. A scissor or an        x-acto knife will help. Oh, and some form of temporary adhesive like tape will come in handy!

Concept: Connect an object with a metaphor and then place or displace the object “someplace” to display its context. Take a photo of the “piece” as a whole and create a blog post about it. (Yes, you can take take more than 1 image or work with video). Please take a photo of the object before and after / process of the final result. (see my example above).

Inspirational links for more insight: Examples –

Public Intervention

Subway Intervention

Hallway Intervention

Considerations: Connect to a object. Most objects and things that we use each and everyday have intentional and specific purposes. Think about recyclable containers. For example, a water bottle. We usually don’t think much about it, we drink the water and then dispose of the empty water bottle. We rarely think that the bootle has a specific form, it was designed on purpose to be held by our hands. What happens if we strip the empty bottle of its logos and labels and paint the object one solid color? The context changes, we “see” the objects for its shape and form. If we extend this to a metaphor, an object like an empty water bottle asserts itself as a vessel. A container that can hold volume and fluids. Those fluids can be effected by temperature.. get it? Have fun!

(yes, you can always complete this assignment purely digitally if you do not have access to a printer, but seek applied art & design alternatives first – think drawing or collage)

Publishing: After you have crafted your art work and photographed all of the elements, generate a compelling blog post about the process and the meaning of the art. Your approach may be in a narrative “how-to” format much like this assignment description (haha). Or, perhaps your approach is fictional in the form of a short story. 

 

*A gallery of completed artwork will be gathered from all students and participants and later exhibited here on this website.

 

Reach out with questions here: rseslow@york.cuny.edu

Paper, Light, Shadow & Storytelling Part 3

Welcome back! Part 3!

Lets make a “free-standing” variation of this project that works “in the round”. 

This post is part 3 of 5 parts from the Paper, Light & Storytelling Project.

*Be sure to read Part 1 first – go HERE

*and don’t miss Part 2 – go Here

*then jump to Part 5 (trust me!) – go HERE

The short video below is a series of snippets taken from various aspects of the project that will help you technically.

 

Let cut out some pieces, parts, shapes and fragments to compose with. Yes, they are “planes” again, but rather than working on the wall in a relief format, lets create a free standing composition that functions on table surface. As you can see in the video above, leave space at the base of each form so that you can bend and curl it over to create a right angle. This angle will allow for the piece(s) to free stand as you glue them down.

 

If you follow my examples above and below, notice that “spacial distance” plays a role in how the pieces create entrance ways for light and shadow to play a role. Working with forms that are cut in various heights and widths will also play a role in the overall visual aesthetic.

 

Below, you can see an example of how you can create “an environment” for your piece to exist in. Perhaps this give a bit more context to the design itself? In this case, I have simply created a gallery simulation by adhering 2 pieces of thick paper together and placing an additional piece on the table surface.

 

A thicker type of paper works best for this, Im using bristol paper above (11″ x 14″ inches) The nice part about this idea is that you can now use the viewfinder of your capturing device to “crop” the forms into the “gallery” as you take photos of the piece as a whole. See below.

 

Here is the composition of vertical forms glued down onto the surface of the table, and placed into the gallery simulation. The image directly below is a bird’s eye perspective with the natural light in the room hitting the piece. My ambition is to share the space and spaces between each free standing form.

 

In this example Im using the same light sources from the previous 3 tutorials (links above). Im a big fan of using light sources to create shadows, effects, filters and moods. These flashlight light sources can also layer over each other and create secondary colors. 

 

a series of colorful flashlights with their lights turned on

The next series of images below are a mixture of my light source set up, process and final outcomes. Please share your feedback and work via URL in the comments section below! Feel free to hack and remix this assignment and its guidelines. 

 

woodside train station, vector illustration

Passing Through Woodside

I hope that this post will serve as both inspiration and an example to create your own variations this fall 2020.

“Passing Through Woodside” 2018 – 2020, is a series of digital art works that built a narrative from a single image. This series is a perfect example of how a moment in time can turn into a series of art works that tell a story. And I do mean a creative narrative that is full of metaphors and the opportunity to express one’s self. Im working on this blog post retroactively because it all actually happened that way. Its a good example of how my mind works and always sees the potential of a single moment. We all do this with our memories and I find it so much fun to retell the stories in a process format (which will turn into an assignment for a class for sure). Well, you will have to scroll down and follow along if you want to get to the point, and the context, and the “how-to” aspect of things. As always, Im happy and grateful to share my work and process. Blogging, AKA “digital storytelling” has been the most effective tool and road mapping exercise to show myself how I see and try to understand the world..

Above, behold, the seamless loop! I know that this animation is probably the least interesting thing in this post but its a big accomplishment for me. Its was the first time I was able to create a seamless looping animation using adobe after effects and applying a snippet of code </>  into the interface’s animation timeline. The short code is – loopOut[“cycle”] –  and when this snippet of code is added to the position of the keyframe of the movement of that particular image, it will seamlessly loop onward, forever… ok, there is a bit more to it that that but this is the “jist” and it has led me to push this whole story further. This animated GIF above is an abstracted version of the Woodside train station in Woodside, Queens, NYC.

The looping animation from above this one (the first GIF)… well, it became the background for this. After a while of watching it loop I saw that it was not really that compelling on it own. Am I wrong? Plus, no one would really recognize the Woodside station, would they? Do you? I placed a similar visual aesthetic and sequence of images over the background to begin to tell a deeper story. Perhaps this all looks seemingly fictional, but its not! Here, I can add some context based on real world events at the time of this images creation. I wore a mask for the 1st time on the last day that I took the train to work before the NYC lock-down. It was a weird experience for sure. The train was actually empty.. Above, we see a person wearing a mask (its me). Im all about keeping myself and others safe as this incredible Coronavirus continues to spread and baffle me. However, once the rest of the world started wearing masks, I realized quickly that I no longer had access to read lips, speech read, follow facial expressions and most other forms of visual communication.. Im deaf and hard of hearing, so do the math. This sequence above became an expression of that. “How am I going to communicate now with people talking to me through a mask?” This was not easy at first. I applied an outdated endlessly ringing phone into the sequence, its a symbol, a phone that no one will ever answer.. remember that I mentioned metaphors?

This was the initial vector portrait of myself placed against the “mirrored” version of the station image. I still like the image very much as a “picture / portrait / illustration” but I quickly got the idea to add more context and motion to help tell a story.

Is the story as interesting with out the ringing phone as we saw two images above? Notice the “glitch effect” used in that version to help the viewer see that the phone was not answered, and even if it was, all I would “hear” is a subtle yet crackling distorted garble…

More context! Here is the 1st vector image of the Woodside station that I redrew using the Assembly app for iPhone, I started working on this in 2018 at some point. I used my train time to work on it a little bit at a time every other day or so. I then later transferred the illustration to adobe illustrator to help tighten it up a bit. I made a lot of improvisations but really love how this turned out. The original image that started all of this is below..

Yes. This is where it all started. A single snap shot. It was a dark dreary day, rain was on the way as I waited for my 8:39am train to Jamaica. I live for this stuff! It was a perfect composition right in front of me. I switched the iPhone over to black and white mode and snapped a whole series of this moment in images. I love this structure and it transports me back to being a kid. The station is long over due for an overhaul and update, and Im sure it will happen soon, so having this series of images makes me happy as I hold onto old NYC!

ROOFTOP PERSPECTIVE REFLECTING (kinda yelling)

ROOFTOP PERSPECTIVE REFLECTING (kinda yelling in caps)

About this assignment: Let’s generate a new blog post that shares a “shift in your perspective about something” and how you became aware of your process. Be sure to share compelling media to support and help “paint this picture.”

Here is my example below.

Sometimes, or maybe more than sometimes, a literal change of one’s physical perspective can help change a conceptual perspective of how we are thinking about something. I know, this is not anything new, but metaphors can play a role and always remind us.. Lets call that “something” a problem, issue or circumstance that we are trying to solve. It could simply be a design problem, or just trying to see something in another light. Perhaps the main inducer of the solution process is the “shift of action” in and of itself. Meaning, we momentarily and very consciously shift the internal self-reflecting conceptual focus to a new physical location of focus. However, the physical focus should be “different” than the one where you were conceptually pondering (over and over and over..). The new physical locational focus must be a geographical one (Im not saying you need to go miles way.. but I suppose that you could.. but lets not for this sake). Its got me thinking metaphorically. There is more context to this “not so new theory” of mine. Im working on a few new projects that started this week as well as trying to complete a few that have been ongoing for about 2 months. Some are art commercial projects / client design work projects, while others are my own personal art works, mainly new paintings. Either way, I have been over-thinking about both. The images in this post helped me find a few solutions, just by going up to the roof, just by making a shift in the moment.

 

When you live in NYC its only a matter of time before the rooftops begin to summon you. You must comply in some way. The sheer curiosity and knowingness that a larger panoramic view of expansiveness awaits. Of course, some rooftops are more available and accessible than others. Some are just not, on purpose and some completely lack accessibility all together.. For many years now we have all been watching the NYC skyline expand. Yes vertically but also horizontally. Of course your viewing ability depends on your geographical location but the lower Manhattan skyline has seemed to compose itself into the downtown Brooklyn skyline. That one has integrated into the Long Island City skyline. I particularIy first noticed this on the Kosciuszko Bridge (which connects Queens to Brooklyn) heading towards the Williamsburg Bridge about 10 years ago. Then again, I also remember when the Williamsburg bank was always the tallest building in Brooklyn.. 

 

Subconsciously I knew that I could take some great photos from above but it wasn’t my intention at first, and these are not great technical photos by any means (they are however good sketches for the next photoshoot with a tripod though!) When I arrived, not only did I shift my location, but I shifted out of the “stuck” over-thinking space I was in only minutes before. And then the insights flow in, nothing is ever static and nature will always remind of this, even in the concrete playground. With-in minutes the light began to change and once again I was reminded that things can always be another way.

 

I wanted to participate creatively, and responsive I became. I switched the filter on my phone to black and white snapped off a series of shots. There is so much power in the immediacy of creativity, we just need to show up, get out of our way and allow. By this time, I was now fully present in this great experience, it was not anything new but yet it was and it induces the gratitude and reverence for just being alive. Which we seem to forget way too often!

 

The moral of all this? Take breaks. When we feel over-tired and or over extended mentally, emotionally or physically, take a break. Take walk, take a drive, go up to the roof, shift.

Paper, Light, Shadow & Storytelling Part 2

This post is part 2 of the Paper, Light & Storytelling Project – be sure to read Part 1 first 🙂 – go HERE

Welcome to Part 2! Lets add some compelling light to our piece. After cutting and organizing your pieces onto the wall lets talk about options for how they can become radiant, dramatic and full of emotion. Color plays a role in how we connect to feelings, emotions and temperature. So, how did I capture all of these images? What kind of light source did I apply?

Scroll down below and lets see..

 

a series of colorful flashlights with their lights turned on

I found these little flashlights on amazon.com. Its a 4-pack consisting of a red, blue, green and white light set. It was $20.00 well spent. The lights are really powerful and the beauty of working with the primary colors is that you can layer them and make secondary colors. (example – layer red and blue together and you will “make” purple). Here is the link to that set.

 

Next, “how” did I set this all up? My next purchase was this flexible table clamp for smart phones. I’m a teacher, and lately, I have been doing a lot of remote and online teaching (as you know) so this was an essential tool to add to my arsenal of techniques. The link to the armature is here. This was $22.00, and again, it was well worth it. Im making a ton of tutorials these days so.. Please note, you do not need to purchase any of these items to capture your work or apply light sources. In fact, I encourage you to be experimental and try out variations with natural light, the filters that come with the “editing” feature on your phones, and to push the limits of the lighting that you have access to. For example, taking a lamp shade off one of your household lamps and pointing it at the sculpture.. Or using the flashlight feature on an old smart phone, or a flashlight from a friends phone. Friends and family become collaborators this way! Most smartphones also have a timer so that they can set up their shot and let the phone do the work. Tripods really can help.

 

Above, I not set my iPhone into the armature and set the timer for 10 seconds. Those 10 seconds give me time to play with the positioning of the flashlights as they project their light onto the wall. Above, I layered the green and blue flashlights for this capture. I held the green light in my hand and set the blue light up propped on a stack of napkins pointed from the right side of the wall. The distance of the light sources play a role, so have fun with that!

 

This capture displays the use of the white flashlight coming from the right hand side of the wall. I was relatively close to the wall and set the timer on my iPhone for 10 seconds held on the armature tripod. It is a little over exposed but I like how it brings the texture out of the wall and the gradient of the paper as it appears to diminish.

 

I removed “one paper element” from this image above, which was an intention of altering the composition subtly, can you tell?

 

This capture is slightly fuzzy and blurry. This is an example of me holding both the red and blue flashlight and layering the light on top of each other. If you are mixing paint, red and blue will make a value of purple. I had turned off the background lights to maximize the capture. I really like the effect, and wonder if this would “look” more 3D if I have 3D glasses.. which I think I do…somewhere, in some closet..

 

This image has simply been turned 180 degrees. Does it help the composition work in another way? Do you like it better this way or as you see below? The images below are also variations with over exposures and contrast tweaking using the filters on my iPhone. Have fun and share your work!