“Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1960s, various names have been used to describe the process, including computer art and multimedia art. Digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.”
What is YOUR creative potential in relationship to an image or images that you feel connected to?
How can intuitions, feelings, philosophies and or inspiration play a role in image-making?
You do NOT need permission to experiment with digital image making / digital art, so let’s get to it!
The academic commons is a perfect example of a platform (WordPress) that both supports and compliments image based content. File formats like .JPG or .PNG work well here! Let’s begin our reign of creative image-making and take over!!
LETS MAKE SOME DIGITAL ART!
We will experiment with some great “Free to Use” Digital Tools:
*I pre-prepared a series of transparent graphic assets that you can download and use for this, but feel free to make and discover your own, especially if there is specific context to your ideas. Here is the shared folder link:
Places to find Images online – Creative Commons based:
Pixabay.com – great resource for images and transparent assets! (we will use this for the workshop)
National Gallery of Art With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain.
Digital Public Library of AmericaThe Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.
NYPL – The New York Public Library Digital Collections Archive
Allow me to introduce my first post of the new year: “Creative Fun for the NEW Commons Website!”
That’s right, the commons has launched its long awaited update! Its awesome!
Have you checked it out yet? This post is a good place to start if you haven’t. Its very informative and helpful. Not to mention down right inspiring, (you will recognize some of the GIFs and Illustrations, wink wink wink..) I’m always excited to talk about the commons! Im lucky to be a sub-committee member, thats right, I signed up, got hooked, and now they cant get rid of me, and my GIFS!
Lets have some fun talking about the new site and the commons itself, shall we?
But wait, can this blog post be used as pedagogy? Can it be a class assignment example in disguise? Does a blog post have the ability to tell a story? A compelling one… hmmm, lets see..
I’m here to serve, share, learn, revise, connect, contribute, participate and evolve in this wonderful open-source space. I have been teaching a series of my CUNY classes between BMCC and York College via the commons for many years now, I have also created the open-source course from which you are reading this blog post. The fact is, the commons is a brilliant space that is awaiting your energy. It’s a free invitation to break free of anything default (like those prehistoric departmental templates!) Its time to tap into your “highest-creative-pedagogical-self”, (that’s right, that’s a thing now) and let that light been seen here.
There are so many ways to approach this!
Building a course website, portfolio or creating a group on the commons offers many options, and there is so much context to explore.. What do you want to create or experiment with? What would you like share, archive, organize, facilitate or help with? That’s just a starting a point of course. When I first started generating content here I created this site “The NET-Art Site” for fun as an example of the “ideal course” that I would “one day” love to teach… I’m very serious. It is not an actual 3 credit course at BMCC or York college, but it has become something so much more as both of those courses benefit from and contribute to the content. It’s an OPEN resource full of use-value in context to all of my teaching. Its worth way more than 3 credits, I mean, its like 100,000 teaching-karma-credits that gets legacy attached to it! (as sinister music drones into the background…. Im kidding, but then again..) What I’m trying to share is, I simply jumped in. I started making and sharing, creating opportunities and reaching out to others. Things took off and quickly began to shape just by starting and not worrying about how it would be received. The commons community supported it 1000%! Since then, we have collaborated with the NYPL and several other campuses on various projects, including workshops at the GC on graphic design & “play in the classroom” )and a cross-college collab with Gallaudet University.
As the new site was being built, especially in the final stages, I asked if I could help and contribute by making some visual promotional items. I kind of solidified my presence with the subcommittee as an artist and a rouge “GIF maker”.. well, ok, maybe I’m not that rouge but I love to make GIFS! Either way, it all started on a website here on the commons. I was riding the coat tails of my buddy and mentor MBS, who is the one who introduced me to the commons in the first place! I was hooked right away! This was back in 1977! (which was really 2010-ish but in 2022 year consciousness it feels that long ago!) Anyway, sheesh, I offered to help bring some of the new branding imagery and items to life. A perfect opportunity to contribute and also use the content for pedagogy. Thats right, this blog post becomes yet another example of the potential of how the commons can be used. As well as the potential to share how things can always expand as we place our energy into it. I teach Digital Storytelling at York College. (I love the course so much!) A large portion of the course work is creating a digital identity, learning how to blog and challenge the creative potentials of what a blog post can be. Can it be a vehicle for change, self-expression, self-transformation, activism, empathy, teaching, learning, compassion and creativity all at once? CT-101 students will surely find out as soon as they read this!
Well? Are you not enjoying this? Make a list of words that come to mind, take action and leave them in the comments section below, I’d be happy to help you get started if you need or want that kind of a push.
Lets give the whole commons team a big big round of applause! I have to say, they really nailed it! The new website is beautiful. Do you remember the old site? I mean, I do miss it a lil, its nostalgia, and all of the late 1990’s feels of those underground style blogs (kidding, kidding, kinda!) I really love the rebranding here. The new site has solved a lot of UX/UI and accessibility issues very effectively. The lighter color palette and integration of clean icons, page formatting, sections, and those light gestural lines makes one’s arrival to the site welcoming and inviting. It helps the visitor navigate effortlessly to where they want go, which may be intentional right away, but it also provokes exploration. I’m excited for my new students to get started this semester! What do you like most about the new site?
I hope that you are enjoying the GIFs and Illustrations as you read through this post. The post is getting a bit wordy and Im known to go off on tangents… stop me! My ambition was to induce some retro-feelings and imagery as metaphors to show the lineage of our Internet experiences. I started teaching college in 2002! I’m at my twenty year mark and this is my 40th semester teaching. (What!?) I actually had that flip phone used above in the illustration, as well as showing course content with slide projectors and VHS tapes! I had to represent VHS! As much as I love all things modern tech, I miss those analog days, and the clunky hardware that came along with it. I know that our friends at Reclaim Hosting agree! The beauty of technology is its ability to unite and connect us through access and inclusiveness. The new site works great on mobile devices now too! The commons has helped me find and meet so many other like minded people doing such cool things. The pandemic slowed the “IRL” experiences but the digital connections strengthened, our overall reach extended and our friendships prevailed. So, in essence the art works are about connection, togetherness and our collective awareness..
Thanks for reading along and checking it out!
Feel free to get in touch and say hello! Im easy to find here on the commons as well as on the web!
Obviously there is a lot to say and catch up on, but first and foremost, a reminder of Empathy.
I would like to ask my fellow teaching colleagues far and wide to consider this information as you begin teaching your courses again this fall. Our students, colleagues and campus communities need us more than ever this semester.
Whether you are teaching 1 course or 7, this applies to all.
Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community
1. There is no ego in teaching. Be an example of patience, compassion, empathy and understanding. Make this your mantra. Your energy is contagious! Meaning, your vibration carries information to each and every person in the classroom (in person or virtual.) The emotional state of your vibration creates rapport between people. You can set the vibration for the semester in your first-class meeting by expressing your gratitude, excitement, appreciation and enthusiasm for teaching and meeting your new students. Again, this is contagious energy!
2. Take acute awareness that your course(s) holds all of the potential to be an incredibly unique learning experience in and of itself. I mean this far beyond any of the specific course content that will be covered throughout the semester. Acknowledge, we are all human beings coming into the course from various places and stages in our journey together on this planet. There is always a part of each and every one of us within each other. Whether it is an example of who you once were, relate to now, or a reflection of the future you to come. There you are.
3. Think about the fact that yourself, and the group of incoming students will be having a new experience in the same physical or virtual space, at the same time for the next 15 weeks. This experience, with the exact same people, in the exact same “space” and time frame will never happen again. Discuss and discover your similarities and collective strengths as a class and how those individual characteristics form the modular fragments that make up the whole. Every class is a community. It will function as one with great energy if it is declared collectively.
4. Create a community! Every course holds the potential to be platform for collaboration and community building. This means, setting up a series of dialogs early on for learning about each other. What are the passions, concerns and ambitions of each student, how are they taking steps to realize those things? Remind yourself before, during and after each class; what roll do you play as a leader and facilitator of inspiration for your students?
5. Realize, our students are teaching us far more than we are teaching them. (read that again if you need to) If you have a classroom of 20 students, then a minimum of 20 new potentialities, solutions, variations and iterations will be generated, worked on, crafted, discussed, written, spoken, presented uniquely and shared back to you (and the class itself) for each assignment. That is a tremendous amount of information and energy. Remember, there is no EGO in teaching, so whether these outcomes please your expectations or not, you have been exposed to a new opportunity to help, learn, grow and see things from another’s perspective. The sum total of awareness from openly experiencing things from another’s point of view is the diminishment of competition-based thinking, and the humble transition into seeing infinite creativity.
6. Do you really think that you are going to inspire your new students this semester by spending the first-class meeting time reading the entire syllabus? Place an emphasis on our collective human-ness first and foremost. Your class(s) are communities awaiting the declaration of its potentiality. Introductions should be the first thing that happens. Learn each other’s names, share stories, connect and learn about each other.
7. Make all of your content Accessible and Inclusive! A single method of sharing course materials is completely outdated in 2021! Make a commitment to learning new skills that will facilitate and foster accessibility and inclusion across your teaching methodologies. If you are using audio and video, make sure that there is a written transcript and real time closed captions available at all times. Use high contrast visuals and plug-ins that give the user the ability to visually tweak and control the value and contrast of what is on their screen. Add alt-text to images for screen reader access, and do some research on “accessibility & inclusion”. Your campus has an office for this and are there to help. Reach out. This is your responsibility. Most of all, ASK your students what THEY NEED for them to best receive the teaching materials.
If you need some help with this, please reach out to me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community
Have a wonderful Semester!
Feel free to add to this thread in the comments section below!
The NET-ART 2020 – 2021 academic calendar is now accepting submissions on a rolling proposal basis in the following criteria:
Electronic Media / Experimental Pedagogy
VIDEO ART / Experimental Film
NET-ART (Works created in and displayed in a web browser)
Class / Course Collaboration
Digital & Analog ZINEs
Curatorial (A Curated Group Exhibition)
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:
And here we are, 4 days into 2020! How are you? I have a lot going on at the moment, teaching-wise, art-wise, design-work-wise and beyond (which is all good stuff!) Of course I want to start the new year with a fresh post, full of energy and excitement for the new year and decade! I have a lot of ideas about how to kick off this semester of teaching and blogging but lets start it off with a show of animated GIFs! Ill get to stating my plans for the new semester very soon, which includes a new overhaul of this website, an expansion of the course syllabus and tons of new tutorials and resources! Perhaps you see this post as an online exhibition, or a vertical, descending scroll of infinite stories? The platform and device that you are navigating from will help you decide and also consume. This is indeed a new series of animated sequences. A new series of narratives and metaphors. Some of which are specific and very conscious, while others are subjective and experimental. I have learned over the many years of my art making practice that I work out ideas this way. I bring together many visual images as fragments, pieces and parts of larger wholes. Lets call them the modular components of the moving whole.. This often presents definitions and redefinitions a bit later on. Im OK with this. Im here to learn, practice, learn some more, and most of all share the journey.
2020 offers another year to creatively grasp the consistently incomprehensible wonder of this life and all of its ups and downs.
Im excited to share this blog post with you today (and beyond as it will be updated and archived). As you all know, I’m a big fan of the CUNY Academic Commons. There are more reasons than I can mention at the moment, but I wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize the idea of how essential and easy it is to create a portfolio on the platform. I know, the word “portfolio” itself has several internal triggers. We almost always associate it with “work” or a “job” and it is time to purge, bypass and rethink this. That part is OUR responsibility. Lets not forget the word “FUN” as a part of this process because it can be the driving force behind actually creating something that you are both proud of and eager to put out into the world- (our community here and beyond).
The portfolio site is designed as a visual tutorial that gives both suggestions and instructions, it will help you get started. Think of your visit to the site as inspiration on what some of the potentials can be. It is intended to be the fuel that sparks your ideas into action. I’m also here to help, so feel free to reach out. The example website can be applied to a professional faculty portfolio, a collaborative group project, a specific event or accomplishment. This can also easily be the template for your students, and student work, including helping students create their own variations.
“The Contemplation of Metaphoric Flight”, 2019, is a series of digital art illustrations & GIF animations generated from public domain source images via the NYPL digital archives. The illustrations were created by your old friend, Ryan Seslow. The new series of works above were specifically created to be displayed here on the C.A.C as a part of the Net Art website’s ongoing exhibition series. It is intended to serve as a visual example, an accessible template, and the creative potential for displaying, publishing, presenting and archiving such a project. (The whole thing is a metaphor)
Wait! Am I suggesting that an online exhibition, published as a blog post on a unique cross-campus social media network can also be used as a teaching tool? A transparent pedagogical tactic?! Well, yes, yes, I am! Lets dig in.
The original public domain images were cut-out with the pen-tool, composed and applied using adobe photoshop (photoshop is your friend and loves you). Do you need a photoshop pen-tool / cut-out video tutorial? Go Here – The cut-outs were necessary for the first iteration of the static pictures above. (Im referring to the bird portraits and the human clothes used to place their heads onto and into) The cut-outs are handy as they can be saved as both .psd files (the original photoshop documents) and as a transparent .PNG file. The .PNG files have a transparent background, this makes it easy to layer them over and into existing images. Plus they are forever re-usable (variation, variation, variation). But, Ryan, I don’t have access to Photoshop… OK, well, there is a trail versions! Sign up and try it! But after that trail ends, so that you know, photoshop is not required to do any of this. Web applications like Pixlr are free and accessible for all to use in the browser window itself, er, with access to the Internet of course.. OK, you can just download the .PNG files here in ready to use mode (your welcome).
OK, so, there are a few animations above as well. The first animations above were created in adobe after effects. The renders were pushed to my iPhone and into mobile applications like Glitche (yikes, its only for iOS) and iPhone’s “Clips” video sequence maker (there are alternatives for android) The files can be saved as mp4 or .mov files making it easy to apply the videos into other mobile video editing apps. Filters are fun to play with for more customizing and visual effects. The videos can be looped into GIF animations using great apps like ImgPlay (this app is awesome, it re-sizes, edits, and has multiple out-put sources.) Animated GIFs are great extenders of so many forms of communication! Im hooked on making GIFS! I make them all public domain by adding them to Giphy.com so by all means use them at will! Here is my feed.
Of course, the digital art, illustration, collage, GIF animation aspect can be a great creative course project in and of itself! Indeed, both on an individual level but perhaps collaborating is where the extended creativity and learning takes place. This can be achieved through digital storytelling using a blogging platform just like this one. See that, you find yourself “inside the actual example”! The illustrations above clearly required a caption, captions and or a narrative. Is the narrative fictional? Will you write a short story to support the images or maybe a reflection induced by the sequences of images? What references come to mind or coincide? How can you make the description compelling? Will you share hyperlinks to your references and resources? Will you embed animated GIFs or other snippets of relevant content? Can you recompose this blog post and use it as a metaphoric template for your own class project, assignment, syllabus or exhibition? (Hint, you can easily break free of the digital art example, but it might be fun to play with this as an idea.)
I believe that this example / template series will expand, who wants to collaborate on a creative cross campus project?
“Graphic Design for Websites” is a workshop placing an emphasis on the basic elements and principles of graphic design in relationship to front end web design aesthetics. Students will be exposed to various examples and applications for wordpress based websites (on the CUNY academic commons and beyond). The workshop will also introduce and apply a myriad of Open Education Resources on design, techniques and software. Hands on exercises will be explored. Bring your laptop.
Welcome to the Graphic Design for Websites workshop!
Here we are, March 19th 2019 at the CUNY Graduate Center, NYC for the Digital Initiatives program!
Reminder #1 – Nothing is static.
Reminder #2 – Everything is default until we intervene, investigate, interact and define who we are in relationship to that thing.
Introductions – This presentation and workshop is a blog post! A URL! It was specifically organized, designed and published this way, which all takes place on website.
URL, please meet the in real-life workshop students and guests. In real-life workshop students and guests please meet the URL. This blog post will grow and expand, I greatly look forward to your additions, suggestions and comments!
“Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form it takes can be physical or virtual and can include images, words, or graphics. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can be intended for a small number of people, such as a one-off or limited-edition book or exhibition design, or can be seen by millions, as with the interlinked digital and physical content of an international news organization. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.” https://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign
Question – After reading this definition, what is the first image that comes to your mind / attention?
What is Visual Literacy? The ability to recognize and understand ideas conveyed through visible actions or images, such as pictures. (according to)
Visual literacy is a skill. A visual literacy is the ability to both understand and produce visual messages. In today’s world of ever-expanding mass media it is becoming increasingly more important to understand. As almost all information and entertainment is acquired through non-print media, the ability to think critically and visually about the images and content presented becomes crucial.
Where is Graphic Design visually present?
Everywhere! Literally. All kinds of signs and symbols both digital and non, transportation, corporate identity and branding, all forms of packaging, printed materials, Internet / online content, websites, Ads, banners, blogs, e-books, album covers, news media, film and television titles, graphics of all kinds, fashion, clothing designs, art and so much more!
But wait, Are you a Designer? You’re all designing things each day, all day long, lets take a look into what this means..
How does design effect communication?
We must ask the question, what is the language of Design? One must identify and understand the Elements and Principles. The elements and principles are the design vocabulary – (Standard – the way it is defined in academic terms – versus – Customized – the way it is defined via each individual person)
*An exercise for later – Generate a series of images taken with your smart phone that visually define the elements and principles of design in public space. We are in NYC, so…design is everywhere, reaching us both consciously and unconsciously. However, we never see a “single design” or “a single building” we see it with in relationship to everything else that is around it. Gather your images and publish them into a blog post. Send your published URL to me no later than tomorrow at 8am. (Im kidding, at leisure)
Where is the attention of human beings these days?
Obviously, online. The Internet!
How does design play a role in the way that we use the Internet and websites for teaching, learning, creating new courses, sharing course work, assignments and generating discussions? What about the way we conduct research, shop, entertain ourselves and so on? Are you consuming more than creating? Is it possible to creatively consume?
What is Creativity?
Creativity is the action and ability to give tangible form to an idea, impulse or intuition. It can be a new idea, or it can be an extension of something that already exists. Creativity can change the context of something in a new and innovating way.
Creativity and being human are synonymous (even thought your ego can trick you into not believing this) Creativity’s desire is your human desire and need of physical expression.
What role does storytelling play in the application of design and websites?
It comes down to Intention. Conscious intention. How can we apply this? Where do we start?
Let’s chat about Contrast. Contrast is wonderful. But contrast can also be a great motivator of procrastination. Endlessly seeking more and more examples can equal less and less actual action. Anyone guilty of this?
What would you like to create? What would you like to make? How will you go about it? Are you willing to practice?
Process, Practice & Permission to be Experimental:
Here is your permission intervention. I hereby give you the permission to jump in! Its not at all uncommon to have MULTIPLE projects happening at once on the web. We all know this from the classes that we are taking and the classes that we may be teaching. (Im teaching 8 courses between 4 colleges and taking 2 courses for myself) From the projects we are a part of both individually and collaboratively, the more that we do, the more we realize that we can do. Sometimes “more” is simply being experimental! Its OK to use experimentation as the SUBJECT. Narrate and illustrate the process and observe how it organically takes form.
CUNY Academic Commons – Free for all CUNY teaching faculty and students – wordpress platform that functions as a social network with in the larger CUNY community as a whole. How can you not be a part of this?
Tumblr – Free and very customizable, lots of options.
WIX – Free and paid versions, also very customizable with a lot of options.
Projects as Websites, Websites as Projects, either way, its COMMUNICATION. Make it open, make it transparent.
Teaching NET-ART – Teach the Course(s) you have always wanted to teach! Create, design and build it! Your rules, your examples, your unique way of sharing. Im using the CUNY Academic Commons for this course.
Cross Campus Collaboration – My CUNY BMCC foundation Graphic Design course collaborated with my York college Digital Storytelling class to produce both an online and public example of collaboration. Our cross course ZINE was created in partnership and donated to the NYPL’s public ZINE collection and archive.
(Above – a graphic icon / logo remix created with the Assembly app for iOS mobile)
The Industry standard software / tools for graphic design is Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator are powerful tools that can be used to generate virtually anything visual. From all types of static images and graphics, to logos, icons and animations, to retouching and layout. Adobe offers monthly subscriptions for their software and if it is affordable on the end of the user, it should be applied and taken advantage of.
Additional Digital Art & Design Tools – This is a growing list and archive that has been building right here on this website. I encourage you to jump in, pick a new application or platform every few weeks and experiment!
Lets get to the DESIGN Making PART!
Lets assume that you do not have access to adobe photoshop, but you do have access to the internet, a web browser, and creativity that is pouring out of you!
Lets open pixlr and Design a logo, icon or symbol that communicates and or supports something that you are currently working on. A logo for your course or personal website? A hybrid graphic icon to express several things that you are interested in? I created the logo / graphic for this presentation at the top of the post using pixlr and icons from the noun project. I added the text in pixlr as well. I applied attribution to the creators via the Creative Commons policy.
Lets use pixlr again to generate a poster design that uses transparent graphic assets and text. I created a public folder here where you can access, download and the apply the graphics. Lets practice composing a picture using multiple elements. (Of course you can also discover and apply your own graphics!)
Save your work as a .jpg file and e-mail it to me! Rseslow@york.cuny.edu or Ryan (at) ryanseslow.com – I will build a gallery of workshop contributions below this sentence!
(((((COMING SOON in this SPACE – The WORKSHOP OUTCOMES!)))))
Open Education Resources – Courses to follow along with by Professor Seslow:
National Gallery of Art With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain.
I would like to present to you below a new series of art history remixes and animated GIF mash-ups that I created for the 2019 CAA annual conference.
The conference is taking place in NYC this year (2/13 -2/17) and will be filled with amazing energy, great people, tons of events, talks, discussions, presentations, methods, tactics and so much more. Im super grateful for the opportunity to create and share the works! They will be shown as a large screen reel of videos looping endlessly at the opening reception & convocation on Wednesday, February 13th at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public! Im sure that several CUNY peoples will be in attendance. The event location and details on the reception are here –https://caa.confex.com/caa/2019/meetingapp.cgi/Session/3023
I thought of the NET-ART website here on the Commons right from the start of this project and intend on reaching out to several other CUNY faculty members about sharing and also expanding upon this project as a collaborative venture. Not only in the traditional pedagogical aspect (what ever that means), but also in the creative aspect of combing the two. What can we learn from re-mixing and mashing up history? Does personalizing and customizing foster a new way to learn about historical works of art? What if the process was as immediate as using a mobile app to create, upload and publish instantly?
The digital art works in this series below were created using adobe photoshop and after effects as well as iOS mobile applications Glitche’ and Imaengine. Can you name all of the art works and their titles?
Feel free to get in touch for more info – rseslow (at) york.cuny.edu