Tag: digital storytelling

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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 – Lets make a Paper Sculpture.

an ephemeral paper sculpture photographed in black and white

How-to make an Ephemeral Paper Sculpture.. from Home!

Here is a fun tutorial that you can follow along with (from home) through this post. This blog post is both the assignment and the example for how you may choose to create and publish your own work. This is part 1 of the process for the creation aspect of things, I will publish a “Part 2” with another tutorial for creatively pushing the documenting of the art work in a few ways. Feel free of course to improvise with any additional materials or hack the whole project to expand your own examples and storytelling. The goal is to publish your process and narrative into a compelling sequence of events!

*Please e-mail a selection of your best final images to rseslow@york.cuny.edu – a collaborative image gallery will reside on this website.

Paper, Light, Shadow & Storytelling – Lets make a Paper Sculpture.

First, the essence of the project is to create and investigate 3D form through storytelling. The form(s) that we make will serve as the content for your blog post. Lets put an emphasis on making a “subjective form”. We can get great practice in by narrating and detailing our steps. We can do this with some pretty common household materials too. Lets jump in! Grab some standard typing/printing paper, tape, a glue stick, a pair of scissors, a wall or table top surface and an external light source (flashlight). Let’s ask ourselves: “self, what are the potentials of form using paper, shadow and light by generating “a new forms” into existence through our creative immediacy? In my example below Im using a relief application by adhering my pieces to the wall, but you can also work on another flat plane if you wish. Keep the word “perspective” in mind as the documentation process plays a big role later on. 

As we scroll below the images will begin to “paint a picture” of the process but we can help it along and make it more compelling by the “way” that we assert the process. Adding your personality and sense of humor is certainly one option. We can also apply accessibility and inclusion by adding text to support the images. We can do this both below the image and placed into the “alt-text” area when we “edit” the image itself. 

Notice, Im using a simple shape, a circle, and Im altering its height by applying scale variations to my individual pieces. Subtle variations go a long way. So do multiple units of one single shape. Oh, and photography plays a big role in capturing your work in progress and the final outcomes as the sculpture itself is ephemeral… or is it?

Artist references – What artists work with or have worked with paper? 

Li Hongbo, Felix Semper, Elsa Mora, Kara Walker (and many more, what did you discover?)

Jump in! (Im going to project some fun colorful light sources on this same piece once it gets dark tonight).

Have fun and be sure to publish your post here on the Commons – add your URL here in the comments section below!

*PS –*Please e-mail a selection of your best final images to rseslow@york.cuny.edu – a collaborative image gallery will reside on this website.

*Part 2 will also publish on this blog soon!

Gather your materials - image of a cutting mat (cardboard also works) transparent tape, a glue stick(bond version), a pair of scissors, an X-Acto knife and some regular printing paper.

  1. Gather your materials – a cutting mat (cardboard also works) transparent tape, a glue stick(bond version), a pair of scissors, an X-Acto knife and some regular printing paper.

Image sharing how to cut your paper into strips (as many as you would like, but think of at least 10 or more) using the X-Acto knife or the scissors, apply the glue stick to the edge of one side of the strip that you have cut

2. Cut your paper into strips (as many as you would like, but think of at least 10 or more) using the X-Acto knife or the scissors, apply the glue stick to the edge of one side of the strip that you have cut.

Image showing how to carefully fold over the paper and apply pressure to the edge as it meets the glue. Hold in place for a few seconds.

3. Carefully fold over the paper and apply pressure to the edge as it meets the glue. Hold in place for a few seconds.

Image shows the Cut strip of transparent tape and from it into a loop. (you will be repeating this process)

4. Cut a strip of your transparent tape and from it into a loop. (you will be repeating this process)

image of one of the circular forms cut from paper

5. Once the circular form is ready, place the loop of transparent tape to the same side where you joined the two ends of your paper.

an image of the tape applied to the form - and repeat the process as needed to start composing your fragments.

6. Apply the tape and repeat the process as needed to start composing your fragments.

This is an image example of the various individual pieces that I cut out and glued together - they consist of various heights and diameters, this is called Scale and it created variation

7. This is an example of the various pieces that I cut out and glued together. Notice, they consist of various heights and diameters, this is called Scale and it creates variation.

Image shares the composing process by organizing and adhering your pieces. (Your first idea is NOT your only idea so play around with this a bit).

8. Begin the composing process by organizing and adhering your pieces. (Your first idea is NOT your only idea so play around with this a bit).

image shows the additive process - keep adding more pieces.

9. Add more pieces.

image shows the additive process - keep adding more pieces.

10. Keep Going!

image shows the additive process - keep adding more pieces.

11. Looking good, add more!

the final outcome image!

12. Finished! I used all of my pieces and took this image with the natural light that was present at the time.

the final outcome image with a dark lighting effect

13. You can certainly see that LIGHT plays a role in the enhancement of the mood and overall aesthetic… what will you do?

 

*OK if you made it this far, here is a teaser from the light projection captures! Coming soon!

an image of the paper sculpture with a purple light source projected onto the piece

 

York College CT101 Digital Storytelling MEMEs

Carrying on the CT101 tradition, Digital Storytelling students at York College expressed their feelings towards their CT101 class by investigating and generating Internet MEMEs. Students were introduced to working with Adobe photoshop, applying images from the web and adding a text overlay.

Art MEMES ART?

Well, this is broad question, individual blog posts were generated by each student on the ct101.us website to answer and adress the question. This collection continues the tradition on the Net-Art community platform!

Shedding Previous Avatar Identities – Open Call!

The “Shedding Previous Avatar Identities” Project!

When do digital identities and electronic foot-prints eventually need to be let go of? Does the Internet machine actually release them? Sooner than later perhaps, we need to take action, and induce a ritual to let them go. Is your online avatar still from 2009? Do we mourn parts of a “virtual” self-identity that has passed its time, outdated and lapsed? These animations below are investigations into the sentiment.

This project is seeking collaborative contributions from the Internet at large! Create a manipulated static or animated work of digital art from your outdated digital self (past/outdated avatar) and send it here as a spiritual offering to the metaphoric graveyard for outdated-virtual-avatars and Internet Identities! Im kicking off the project with my examples below.

(This project will make a great digital storytelling assignment, use it for your class perhaps?)

Cool Apps for image manipulation:

Imaengine – Tons of filters, vector conversions, stills & video

Hyperspektiv – Tons of filters, stills and video

Glitche’ – glitche.com – the ultimate, trust me.

Glitch Studio – tons of filters and animation options

ImgPlay – GIF & Video converting app (its a beast!)

 

–> E-mail submissions to – rseslow@york.cuny.edu <–

Or send via Twitter to @ryanseslow

 

Ryan Seslow, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Ryan Seslow, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Anthony Wheeler, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Tim Owens, 2019, Digital Still Frame

 

Sarah Honeychurch, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Ronald_2008, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Kevin Hodgson, 2019, Digital Still Frame

 

Inés Vañó García, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Alan Levine, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Mariana Funes, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Luke Waltzer, 2019, Digital Still Frame

 

Ricardo Deodutt, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Marvin Matias, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Karin Butler, 2019, Animated GIF

 

Qadeer Syed, 2019, Animated GIF

The Game Begins, 2019, Video Art

The Game Begins, April 2019, is an animated video art work in progress constructed from multiple individual components. The animated clips were composed and generated with various mobile and desktop applications. They have been layered and and recomposed in Adobe after effects. The video loops repeatedly and is intended for large scale projection presentation. Iterations and experimentation of its presentation are underway. This is an experimental process to fuse together multiple narratives, stories and situational realities. Can it work? Will it work?

Press “Play” above and indulge.

I converted a longer video version of this experiment into an animated GIF here to give a little insight into the testing process. I teach a graduate level new media class at LIU Post in NY and a Digital Storytelling class at CUNY York college where we experiment with many video and animation processes and applications. The projection of video and animated works play a role in the final weeks of the course. It is one of the most important aspects of the class as it breaks free from using the hand held device, monitor or screen as a presentation tool. In this case, the video is projected directly onto 3D objects like stacked pedestals. But as a looping video published via YouTube (above) and inserted into a blog post, Im not convinced it can hold up in this format for long durations of time…well, not yet anyway!

Thoughts?

CUNY York College CT101 Vapor Wave Exhibition

Welcome to the CT101 Digital Storytelling Gallery of Vapor Wave Aesthetic.

CT101 is a Digital Storytelling course at CUNY York College.

Inspired by this blog post previously published by professor Michael Branson Smith we set off to explore and experiment the genre as a class. The intention was to run through a series of class tutorials and then go off independently to generate images. Vapor Wave is a vast and unique community! The musical aspect is huge, and the accompanying visuals are so attractive and contagious. The possibilities of how and where the aesthetic can be applied is even more expansive than we thought! You might ask yourself, why haven’t I heard of this before? Good question! It all seems to start with getting your feet wet with these two videos below, a little history really helps.

The image gallery above is an energetic series of our first static outcomes! These pieces above set a tone for what is possible, and how we can push ourselves further. CT101 students are new to many of the software applications used in the course. We learned and applied a ton of new skills with adobe photoshop to create the digital collage works. Importing files, creating graphic assets, working with layers and gradients are all a part of the process. Saving files and exporting various file formats for the web were also explored and tested.

I want to make some Vapor Wave Art too! (right?)

A great way to get started is by doing your own research and finding a tutorial that you can follow along with. I suggest these two below:

  1. Creating Vapor Wave – 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKokry41Ixg
  2. Creating Vapor Wave – 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ_ZT0Phfo4

The tutorials are great to work along with. But alas! What if you don’t have access to adobe photoshop? Is there an alternative? Indeed, you can use web browser applications like:

  1. Pixlr – https://pixlr.com/
  2. GIMP – https://www.gimp.org/
  3. Get Paint ( For PC users) https://www.getpaint.net/index.html

If you are looking for pre-made vapor wave elements, content and graphic assets you can easily grab a series of transparent images from doing a quick search that simply reads: “transparent vapor wave graphics“. The vapor wave community is proactive in sharing and uploading transparent graphics making it accessible and immediate for anyone to get involved.

Like what you see? Jump in and submit your work to the Vapor Wave gallery!