Tag: nyc

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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.

ImAg-IN-a-TioN-ing

an imaginary future based city scape looms in the distance over the ocean..
Click the Image to enlarge and expand

“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!