“Aphrodite’D” – 2021, Animated GIF
“Aphrodite’D” – 2021, Animated GIF
“A Loop Through the Neighborhood”
2020, Animated GIF
Two friends walk through their neighborhood together, they walk silently and reflect upon their day. As dusk sets in, the colorful urban background of buildings seem to flow past hastily as the characters bob up and down giving the impression of movement. A place where nothing is ever static.
Grateful and Inspired.
Its that time of the semester again. The time where I introduce how to make animated GIFS to my students and fellow humans… OK, Im lying big, I teach this all semester long, how can I not, I mean.. GIFS! There are myriads of fun projects out there for us folks to participate in GIF wise. Did you know that? Through GIFS, we can make new friends! Explore and learn about cultural and historical events, fragments, objects, fashion, foods and so much more. GIFITUP 2020 closes its submissions this coming week, and I advise that you check it out, but let me reintroduce you to another ol’ classic, the GIF the Portrait Project is BACK! The project started on a tumblr back in 1963… another LIE! Sorry, it started back in November of 2013 and was created specifically for the project. The idea is, and remains simple: “animate a portrait”.
The best place to start when viewing the current submissions is right here on the project’s archives page <– this allows for viewers to see a more expansive timeline of works as well all digest the inspiration as you begin to feel propelled into GIF making action. GIF the Portrait will be receiving submissions from students at CUNY BMCC, York College & NYIT this semester. The second part of this introduction to the project and assignment will share a series of “how-to” and step by step tutorials to get you started. In the mean time, I got started on my examples below. Thats right, I participate in every assignment that I give! Im on this team too! The image / GIF above is the final outcome from my contribution (RAD right?!!) and that outcome consists of a stacked series of the individual images that you can now scroll through below. I had a blast making these and they are all inspired by Andy Warhol! I mixed together a series of both digital and print media to create each piece. More to come!
(a studio installation above, you know, for context..)
In class this past week we talked extensively about the power of images, both static and animated. The animated GIF, regardless of how it is pronounced (via one’s personal individual subscription with the hard G or the soft G) it is most often used as a vehicle to communicate and share humor, emotional reactions and relatedness. However, we all agree that the animated GIF can just as easily be used as a tool to bring powerful awareness and action.
I made these examples to extend that conversation..
The earth 🌍 needs our help, and also some 🤗 hugs!
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!
The wait is over! NET-ART’s infamous companion course: “CT101 Digital Storytelling” is now officially taking place here on the Commons! We are excited to bring the course in its full entirety here beginning this coming Fall 2020 semester. Two new sections of CT101 will be contributing as authors of the site.
Hey, not to fret, they will also continue to submit collaborative work here on the NET-ART site as well.. (I saw your right eyebrow raise!) The CT101 Digital Storytelling community is vast and has a passion for creative experimentation, open source learning and pedagogy.
Hold up… I know what you are thinking! “Prof, will there be more GIFS?” “Will there be more tutorials, how-to’s and collaborations?” “Will there be more blogging?” So it will be! (do the best Yoda impression you have)
See you soon!
“ImAg-IN-a-TioN”, 2020, Animated GIF & Digital Image
Im trying to re-image how to apply the imagination. Do you say “my imagination” or “the imagination”?
It’s the most intangible thing, is it not?
But so necessary, so needed and powerful. (forgive me for starting this sentence with the word “but”).. or should I reimagine this too?
It’s hard to imagine a world not being physically face to face in the classroom again, but maybe the whole point is to reimagine everything from the “once default state” we discover it in? Perhaps contrasts are already in place and awaiting our intervention. The endless array of potential new outcomes, they are awaiting our creative potential and new friends we can meet at the same intersection.
Oh, the continuous metaphors, evidence and reminders of the non-static!
Non-Static Situational Narratives XIV
The Last Day of Finals (for now)…