Tag: teaching

How to Create Paper Cut-Out Art: Tips & Techniques for Beginners

Back again with another lil’ series of 2D wall relief paper cut-out forms. Both of the pieces below follow the same process and technique. Im really happy with the process and outcomes. Im working on animating them as we speak. I’ll add them to this post later, so be sure to check back! My paintings inspire my drawings, and my drawings are inspired by those same forms found in my paintings. It makes sense that every so often I want to make those forms “pop out” and off the surface of a flat plane. Alas, it all starts with a quick sketch. See below, just a series of light loose free flowing lines take the lead, forward ->

Here we have a dude posing for a profile style portrait. Most likely, this is inspired by the NYC B-Boys from the years 1983 – 87ish. Either way, it’s nostalgia for me. Once the sketch feels good, I’ll break out the paper and x-acto knife. I keep telling myself that one day Ill work with another material other than paper for these works, perhaps wood or metal.. It will happen, I can foresee it for sure, hang in there. Im using a white bristol paper for the cut outs, I believe is the vellum type and not the glossy, but either or will work just fine. I love to cut paper and the whole medium of paper art in general.

Paper cut-outs, also known as paper cutting or Kirigami, is a traditional art form that involves cutting shapes and designs out of paper. The history of paper cutting can be traced back to ancient China and Japan, where it was practiced as a folk art. The Chinese and Japanese would create intricate designs, often featuring animals, plants, and mythical creatures, and use them as decorations for festivals and special occasions.

Using the sketch above, I apply the “map” of the shapes and forms that I see. Sometimes I redraw those forms on the paper that I will cut out, and sometimes I just “draw” with the x-acto knife to recreate the forms. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both of those techniques. There is also a series of “out-take / byproduct” cut outs that do not make the final piece, those can be saved and used for the next piece, obviously!

More history, for context – the art of paper cutting spread to other parts of Asia, including Korea, where it evolved into unique styles and techniques. In Japan, for example, paper cutting was used to create delicate and intricate designs for paper lanterns and screens. In Europe, paper cutting was popularized during the Renaissance and was often used to create elaborate decorative patterns for books and other printed materials. Check the bottom of this post for a list of other artists that work with the medium.

I layer the forms on top of each other to compose the arrangement as a whole, its fun to watch it all come together, in the next phase, you will need some kind of durable tape or you can make little paper forms that can be pasted to both sides of the forms as they stack, this will create the gauge and depth of the piece once it is placed onto the wall.

This is the final composition above, I love it! I used a roll of duct tape to make small cylinder forms that connect the pieces together, the piece as a whole comes “off of the surface of the wall” by about 1.5 – 2″ inches – you can play with this a bit but keep in mind, the tape makes the piece heavier and it will want to comply with gravity 🙂

I hung the piece (also temporarily adhered via the same duct tape) for the photoshoot and to also get a good look at how it will function on the wall. I have an old painted fire place in my studio that is a great surface for hanging things, I love the contrast of textures between the bricks and the paper, as you know, the shadows will be super cool to see too.

Once I had the whole piece constructed I took a few pictures of it. I immediately wanted a clean vector line drawing of the whole character. I brought the photo into adobe Fresco and used a vector brush to draw this lovely variation. This is how my brain works, I switch paths because I know they are really pipelines to the “next thing” that I will push this to, so forward we go. I can see this potentially becoming a new logo for an aspect of my design biz, or at least a new t-shirt in the classic newyawk series

Then, it was light source and photo shoot time. Im not really happy with these picture as traditional “photographs” as I know I can do a much better job, but, as a series of “sketches” for a planned photo shoot, these will really help to make those plans a reality. I love neon colored lights. I have a bunch of them from various places and spaces that I found on the internet. Amazon has a great selection of flashlights with various colored light options. Get a few and play around with how the light can effect your work and the shadows that it creates. This is where the depth and gauge of your pieces play a role. The photos below are also a part of the same session, which all took place over a few days. What do you think? Shall I make more?

In the 20th century, paper cutting experienced a resurgence in popularity as an art form in its own right. Notable artists who have contributed to the art of paper cutting include:

  1. Béatrice Coron: A French artist who has created intricate and expansive paper cut-out installations for public spaces and galleries around the world.
  2. Yoo Hyun-mi: A South Korean artist who creates paper cut-outs that explore themes of identity and cultural heritage.
  3. Hina Aoyama: A Japanese artist known for her intricate paper cut-outs of animals and natural landscapes.
  4. Elsa Mora: A Cuban-American artist who creates whimsical paper cut-outs that often feature fantastical creatures and characters.
  5. Hunt Slonem: An American artist known for his large-scale paper cut-outs of birds and butterflies.
  6. Xiyadie: A Chinese artist who creates intricate paper cut-outs of traditional Chinese motifs and landscapes.
  7. Hari and Deepti: An Indian artist duo who create mesmerizing paper cut-out scenes using layers of intricately cut paper.
  8. Karen Bit Vejle: A Danish artist known for her intricate paper cut-outs that often feature patterns inspired by nature.
  9. Nikki McClure: An American artist who creates minimalist paper cut-outs that often explore themes of motherhood and nature.
  10. Wu Jian’an: A Chinese artist who creates paper cut-outs inspired by traditional Chinese art and mythology.

 

Welp, if you got this far, many thanks! Much more to come!

Exploring Human Creativity: Insights from a 20-Year College Professor

a composite of various images in and around teaching college level art & design

Two Decades of Teaching, A Reflection Begins..

It is time to tell the stories, the insights, ups, downs and all around experiences, 20 years of college teaching art & design.. Let us begin this series of posts with the most profound and ongoing metaphor, shall we?

Recently, I began reflecting on my 20 years of college-level teaching and was amazed by how much I’ve been able to accomplish. 20 years is a lot of contrast in terms of lineage, right? I have taught and continue to teach both graduate and undergraduate courses in various fields like studio art, graphic design, digital art, illustration, design thinking, new media, web design, digital storytelling, communication technology and various related foundation courses. Over the years, I’ve created new courses, developed curriculum, published content, and installed and generated archival course websites. I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with many new technologies, work with amazing people, and create / curate exhibitions. The list just continues to grow.

Teaching has been one of my greatest educations. (Just a reminder, I am a deaf person who teaches in all mainstream institutions.) Through out life, not just work-life, life situations can seem like they have no immediate solutions, and our ego kicks in to remind us of all the other times of uncertainty. It can be difficult to control these emotions at first, but we can become aware of our behavioral patterns and discover other metaphors around us that appear in the form of otherness. For me, those metaphors have appeared through teaching, follow me below..

 

During my reflection, I realized that I teach an average of 16 – 18 courses per academic year, which amounts to about 270 students per year. This means that I’ve had about 5,400 college students in my classes over my teaching career so far. (Whoa) Each student generates something tangible in each of my courses, which has led to thousands upon thousands of variations of creativity that I witness every day. Even a basic “positive and negative space” assignment can result in countless variations of execution. I have witnessed over 27,000 student examples. Not one of them, not a single one has ever been the same.

As a metaphor, this vastness of creativity becomes “Meta” because it goes beyond my comprehension of something that I thought I had an awareness of. It’s a spiritual metaphor because it’s humbling to realize that the creative potential of humans is so vast and infinite. I see amazing variations and solutions to the same series of project expectations, year after year, student after student. There is one constant thread, the abundance of endless variety, and that things can always be another way. Always.

So, when life circumstances rear their ugly head, I recall that things can always be another way. Always. It may not be in the way that our egos demand it be, be another door will open, and solution will present itself in time.

I cant un-know this. 

Through this reflection, I’ve learned that our everyday occurrences can have much deeper meaning, and the world is showing us things every day whether we are aware of them or not. I continue to share my stories and awareness’s at the beginning of each and every class that I teach. I encourage my students to reflect on their own experiences and find deeper meaning in them as well.

More to come!

Exploring Analog, Digital & Ai Mediums in Art: Layered Image Hacks from Old Slide Libraries

glowing slide hack image

Exploring Analog, Digital & Ai Mediums in Art: Layered Image Hacks from Old Slide Libraries

As an artist, I’m always seeking new ways to create and communicate through visual imagery. In today’s technology-driven world, there are endless ways to be experimental, combining analog, digital and now Ai mediums to generate fresh perspectives. I find to be as exciting as can be!

slides - slide hack project

A looooong time ago as an undergraduate art and design student, I never imagined that I would ever view the slide projector as a medium for future art making. However, in recent years, I have discovered the hidden potential of old slide libraries to help generate and create new artworks. I see this exercise as a great collaborative project for students of all ages! More on that later.

Above, we see a series of scanned remnants from various times, spaces and places. Working with the abandoned slide libraries from a few of the universities I teach for across New York City, I have found my inspiration. The first series of experiments involved layering four intentionally selected slides with strong light source from underneath to create an analog transparency. The resulting images were then edited and juxtaposed for context and composition, resulting in new works of art.

slide hack project

Through my work with these precious “fossils,” I’ve discovered a new way of seeing the world and objects around us. The situational narrative of the abandoned slide libraries have become the inspiration for my art making experiments breathing new life into outdated technology. (I also really love the word “re-contextualize”.) As I continue to develop the series, I am exploring different ways to present these layered images. I picked up an old data projector via Craigs list a while back, and it has been propelled back into action! 

slides - slide hack project

Several of these images are being turned into animations for video and GIFs, adding a dynamic element to the already compelling compositions. Stay tuned for part two, as I delve deeper into the process of creating these layered image hacks. But photo documenting these was obviously not the last stop, I had to see what our new friend “Ai” may do.. keep reading and scrolling for that!

slides - slide hack project

In creating the layered image hacks, I have found that the process is intuitive and immediate, allowing me to tap into inspired energy and create something new and unique. The juxtaposition of historical images with modern technology has led to a new awareness, both for myself as an artist and for those who may view my work. One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the endless possibilities for presentation.

slides - slide hack project

The images can be printed on a variety of materials, from traditional paper to fabric or even metal, to create a tactile and dimensional effect. They can also be projected onto walls, creating a larger-than-life presence that immerses the viewer in the layers of the image. The slide below was projected onto the corner of a wall, as an example.

slides - slide hack project

As I continue to work on this project, I am excited to see where it will take me. As I mentioned, Ai has entered the chat.. By exploring both analog, digital and Ai mediums, I am able to push the boundaries of traditional art-making and generate new ways of looking at the world. I hope to inspire others to see the beauty in the unexpected and to find creativity in even the most mundane of objects. Let’s be honest, we all wrote off slides many years ago!

The new variations generated above and below are by DALL-E 2 added a new dimension to the project, highlighting the possibilities of combining different technologies in the creative process. The outcomes are so good! I further manipulated the variations in adobe photoshop to make them more compelling and spellbinding!

slide hack project

Overall, this project demonstrates the importance of embracing innovation and experimentation in the art making practice. By utilizing both old and new technologies, and exploring different mediums and techniques, we can create works that are truly unique. And by applying these layered image hacks to DALL-E 2, we can open up new possibilities for creative expression and push the boundaries of what is possible in the art world.

Have fun!

7 Tips for Cultivating Empathy and Community in Your College Classroom

a digital illustration of two old computers meeting in prospect park like old friends

7 Tips for Cultivating Empathy and Community in Your College Classroom

Hey fellow educators (& Beyond)!

We are now flowing into week #5 of the Spring 2023 semester -> a belated welcome back!

While there’s aways a lot to catch up on, let’s keep reminding ourselves of the power of patience.

Let’s keep in mind that our students, colleagues, and campus communities need us now more than ever. Whether you’re teaching one course or seven, there are a few keywords to keep in mind:

“patience, empathy, compassion, creativity, accessibility, inclusion, and community”

a gif about patience

Here are a few suggestions to help you create a positive and productive learning environment:

  1. Remember that there’s no room for ego in teaching. Make patience, compassion, empathy, and understanding your mantra. Your energy is contagious, so set a positive tone from the start. Regularly express your gratitude, excitement, appreciation, and enthusiasm for teaching and learning with your students – that positive energy will spread like wildfire!
  2. Acknowledge that your course(s) have the potential to be a unique and powerful learning experience, far beyond the specific content you’ll be covering. We’re all human beings coming together in this shared space and time, and there’s always something we can learn from one another. Keep an open mind and heart, and embrace the diversity of perspectives in your classroom.
  3. Your class is a community, and it’s up to you to help foster that sense of unity. Use the first few classes to get to know your students and encourage them to get to know each other. What are their passions, concerns, and ambitions? Regularly revisit how they work together to achieve their goals!
  4. Collaboration is key – make your course a platform for community building. Encourage your students to share their ideas and work together to create something new. You’ll be amazed by the creativity and innovation that emerges from a truly collaborative learning environment.
  5. Remember, our students have so much to teach us. Each of them brings unique experiences, insights, and perspectives to the table. Make sure to listen and learn from them – you’ll be amazed by what you discover.
  6. Don’t waste your first class reading the entire syllabus – always start by connecting with your students on a human level. Learn their names, share stories, and make that vital connection that sets the tone for a positive and productive semester.
  7. Finally, make sure your course materials are accessible and inclusive. In 2023, there’s no excuse for a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Make sure your audio and video content includes transcripts and closed captions. Use high-contrast visuals and add alt-text to images for screen reader access. And most importantly, ask your students what they need to best receive the teaching materials. Your campus has resources to help you with this, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Remember, teaching is a journey and a constant work in progress. We’re all in this together.

By prioritizing patience, empathy, compassion, creativity, accessibility, inclusion, and community, you’ll set yourself and your students up for successful and fulfilling semesters!

Exploring Digital Art and Design on the Commons – A Workshop

“Exploring Digital Art and Design on the Commons: Techniques and Applications for the Classroom and Beyond”

Wednesday, May 11th 2022 – 11am – 12:30pm

Welcome!

This presentation is for the CUNY GC / Teaching & Learning Center’s Open & Digital Pedagogy Wednesday Workshops Series.

Hosted by Anthony Wheeler & Ryan Seslow

Welcome All!

This workshop will be conducted and archived from this blog post here on this website.

This website is chock full of resources so please dig in!

PS – This post will also receive a few updates from time to time as contrast creates more inspiration! I hope to share the recorded zoom workshop info as well (if possible)

This post is also a creative snippet and reflection of what is possible here on the commons. (Im a big fan!)

 

an abstract digital illustration consisting of many graphic assets

 

So, What is Digital Art? – via wikipedia

“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.”

 

Some Digital Art History -> a timeline

A bit more here <–

and a bit more here as well <–

 

Questions to Ponder?

What is the creative potential of an image?

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:

Lets create a page using mmm.page  – https://mmm.page

mmm.page is a web browser based digital collage making platform / space. It works perfectly in your web browser. It also works on mobile devices!

 

Here is an example I made with mmm.page:

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.main

 

*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:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZWB0jL_z_iU9mH2rf3Imthk4AUpYYRGi

 

a surreal arrangement of objects and things placed into a situation..

 

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 America The 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

Flickr CC – Creative Commons on Flickr.

Gif Cities – Internet Archive

The Noun Project –  “Graphic Icons for anything”

Open-Access – Digital Collection – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Giphy – the web’s largest search engine for animated GIFs!

 

Web Browser and FREE Digital Tools to Work with:

mmm.page – https://mmm.page

photopea – is a free web browser based digital image making and manipulating application, we can alter and manipulate and prepare images in this space! – https://photopea.com

Remove Image Background – https://www.remove.bg/

PIXLR – https://pixlr.com

Image Conversion Tool – https://convertio.co/

Vectorize an Image – https://vectorizer.com/

vectr – https://vectr.com

Glitcher – http://akx.github.io/glitch2/

Image Glitch Tool – https://snorpey.github.io/jpg-glitch/

Glitchatron – http://www.errozero.co.uk/glitchatron/#

Gimp – digital art making / photoshop-esque alternative – https://www.gimp.org

Trianglify Generator

Trianglify Generator 2 

 

Special Ops agents find themselves displaced into an art gallery

Useful Essays & How-To’s from this Website:

The Byproducts Poster of Twenty Twenty One

A Drama in Monotones, the tutorial..

Cut-N-Paste-Analog-N-Electronic-Ness

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

Ink Jet Printer Print Remixing in the Studio

The Graphic Design for Websites, A 2019 Workshop

 

Please feel free to share your sentiments, questions and feedback in the comments section below! Let’s think of that space as a way to contribute to this post.

PS – Check out more on my website – ryanseslow.com or follow me on twitter or IG

Many thanks!

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

Ah, the speed and the beauty of the Internet! The Internet will always find out, and the Internet will compel you to share! Less than a week ago I was “woke” to mmm.page by my fellow colleague, collaborator, mentor and friend; MBS, aka Michael Branson Smith! MBS has an amazing acute radar for discovering all kinds of new creative digital tools! He always finds them first and so graciously alerts me right away! This past Wednesday he did this with mmm.page! He shilled me an example of what he created using his mobile device, I was impressed and activated! I jumped right in. I signed in. No password needed, just input your e-mail address and wait for the link to verify – that is all that is needed. Within 2 minutes I was in and creating…

I became reflective, immediately. A lot of digital artists and educators like myself may recall Net-Art creation sites like “newhive” and “to.be” back in the late 2010 – 2015-ish years. Those platforms were super cool for the time, purely web browser dependent, Net-Art making machines that pushed the context of the tool so far ahead. Both platforms created huge communities and produced a lot of new artists, art stars, web browser enthusiasts and educators. The creative potential of the web browser continues to excite me. The truth is, if you build it, they will come, mmm.page has brought this ability and energy back! I have been literally looking for something like this since both newhive and to.be vanished.. I know a lot of other artists, designers, educators and creatives also feel this way too. Bottom line, the site invites your energy, awesomeness and creative immediacy. Let me says that again, creative immediacy. Creative immediacy is the action that is taken once we become inspired and mmm.page is a bolt of lighting in terms of creative immediacy.

The site is for everyone! Of course I am speaking and sharing from my own personal interests, examples and awareness of how I want to use the tool, but, thats just one perspective. The tool can easily be used for digital art making, but more importantly to make beautiful websites of all kinds, and to expand the context of what a website is and can be. Plus, just how much creative control we have with in the web browser space itself. This is also a creative license to develop a digital identity! (And, we may create many!) This excites the hell out of me. The creator of mmm.page is called “xh”. xh -is a super cool person who is community oriented and has allowed for me to begin infiltrating the platform 🙂 I immediately reached out and made a connection. I love supporting new projects, participating and making new friends. Its always fun to connect with like-minded awesome peeps who want to make and share utilitarian tools that can help others. Cheers to xh!

 

This post is just part 1 of the many that I feel I can write about mmm.page! Im excited to bring the site’s capabilities back into the realm of teaching and creating a series of both individual projects and collaborations between students, faculty and campuses. And of course I hope that MBS will participate! (I know he will!) Im also excited to develop a new body of digital art works using the site and meeting new people in the community. 

The first thing I did with mmm.page.. I applied MBS’s tip, I made a piece and shared it immediately as a part of guest talk and workshop I gave with CUNY Graduate Center students. The students were asked to use the site and jumped right in! – You can see that post here! (the results from the workshop are still flowing in as we speak)

 

I then got busy creating, playing and generating the examples below:

 

Here is the first series of my experiments made with mmm.page 

(click each URL and take a tour – most pieces are made via the desktop version but the last two links were made via mobile)

 

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.main

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.multi_drama

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.forward_motion

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.art_history_remix

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.parttwo

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.revolutions

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.MobileFlow

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.Mobilized

 

Do you like what you see above? Great, I thought so! Now, below you will see how things can be expanded upon further. The images below are full page screen shots taken with “GoFullPage” which is a free google chrome web browser extension that allows one to, well, get a full page screen shot. You can save the screen shot as a .PNG or a .PDF file. I began doing this with my mmm.page creations and then opening them in Adobe Illustrator to live trace them into vector files (I know, fancy fancy). As you know, vectors are scalable, you can make them and use them as small or as big as you wish, and they print really well too. So, mmm.page became both a creation and teaching tool as well as a catalyst to push things further. And of course adobe illustrator allows for infinite recoloring potentials.. Perhaps these pieces below will become 1/1 edition NFTs? Hmmm, lets see.. In the meantime, scroll below. PS – I may re-use these as background image settings for my next mmm.page creation. (fist bump)

More to come!

 

Net-Art Open Call for Submissions! Fall 2019

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

FALL 2019 Edition

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

The NET-ART 2019 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 and displayed in a web browser)
  6. Class / Course Collaboration
  7. Digital & Analog ZINEs
  8. Curatorial (A Curated Group Exhibition)
  9. Solo Exhibition
  10. Net-Art Open Projects – (details here)

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 

Back to Teaching Reminders from Net-Art

I would like to ask my fellow teaching colleagues far and wide to consider this information as you begin teaching your courses this fall.

Whether you are teaching 1 course or 7 (like myself), 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. 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 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.

Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community

Have a wonderful Semester, and feel free to add to this thread in the comments section below!

Teaching Website Examples Via WordPress & the Commons

This blog post is a contribution that I made for the CUNY BMCC Open Pedagogy website here on the Academic Commons. I am lucky to be a part of the BMCC teaching and learning team this summer!

This blog post will serve as a series of examples to help inspire, format and display the myriads of potentials that wordpress based websites offer for teaching, learning, presenting, publishing, archiving & sharing. I am drawing from my own courses and examples here, please feel free to leave comments below or in the forum. My examples range from my courses on the academic commons, the Openlab, and a self-hosted private website. All of which use the wordpress interface.

The question I continue to ask myself through these experiences is; “what are the ongoing potentials of this website/ blog  /blog post(s) as an experience?”  How can I offer more value?  I start with a draft and build/generate content over time as I go. For me, this is a really fun process, I enjoy creating and curating my courses and course content! By all means, be experimental, ask questions, and most of all have fun with the process. 

Lets jump in! Perhaps you will click on each example and take a brief tour of each site listed below as you read through here. you can always open each link in a new tab and compare and contrast them as well.

1. https://ct101.usCT101 – Digital Storytelling. (This is the example that I share at the workshop)  This website is a good example of how the course functions as both a repository of content, course calendar and assignment bank with students contributing as authors to the website. The course calendar page is populated with many creative projects that you can follow along with on your own. CT101 is a hybrid course, it is meant to be accessible for distant learners.

 

2. https://bmccmma100.commons.gc.cuny.eduThis is a foundation graphic design course that places an emphasis on learning the elements and principles of design in relationship to industry standard software applications (Adobe CC). The website serves as the course guide and calendar. Weekly blog posts are published to share assignments, assignment descriptions, research, resources, examples, videos and student contributions via the comment section.

 

3. https://netart.commons.gc.cuny.edu Net Art is a CUNY-Wide open source course, collaborative exhibition space, research project and experimental “such-ness” created specifically for the Commons. The course is a template and repository for animated GIFs, digital art and video art projects. Contributions come from other CUNY professors, students,  courses and beyond! You are welcome to participate and or use any of the projects for yourself and your courses! Submit!

 

4. Creating presentation content in the blog post format – https://bit.ly/2IZN76O This example will most likely be published as its own blog post here later but I also wanted to include it as a part of this post for contrast. Sometimes an individual blog post can inspire the building of an entire website. This is what this post has inspired for myself. In March of 2019 I was in invited to conduct a workshop at the Graduate Center for the Digital Humanities Initiatives program. The workshop was an introduction to graphic design in relationship to applying it to content created for websites, especially those teaching on the commons and with wordpress. (There are tons of resources here! Enjoy!)

5. Piloting on the OpenLab – https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/mma100-seslow-spring-2019/For the spring of 2019 I was invited to pilot my BMCC MMA100 Graphic Design class on the OpenLab – there are many similarities between the Commons and the OpenLab. I am placing this link and example here for visual contrast. Many of you may find yourselves also working with both platforms as you move forward developing courses at BMCC and in CUNY.

Thoughts and feedback? Feel free to leave a comment and or visit us in the learning lounge during our summer hours!

PS- if you would like to see another creative example of a wordpress blog / portfolio website that mixes together a series of different things, check out my blog here –  https://ryanseslow.com 🙂

PSS – Do you see typos? Help me out 🙂

Net-ART-ing the Commons – An Exhibition Proposal!

The commons has been Net Art’ed..sadly this GIF animation above is only a preview of the entire internet art work due to a limitation with embedding iframe codes here on the commons. I understand, security, potential wonky code, protection… (dot dot dot) not to worry though, you can view this piece in all of its glory as a full page in its entirety here –> https://newhive.com/ryanseslow/net-art-ing-the-commons <— Did you notice the new page edition in the navigation menu? “Net Art” – wouldn’t it be fun to see a Net Art exhibition here on the commons consisting of an open call of submissions from our CUNY community members? Well, this is my official public submission to the commons requesting an opportunity to make this happen. I know, its not a traditional method for such an endeavor, or is it? Perhaps this is precisely how we can continue to build community, new teaching methods, cross CUNY collaboration and present opportunities that can in fact become multidisciplinary?

I would be happy to present this in person.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

What are the potentials of Internet Art making? Check out this body of work I created over the last year here, navigate from the arrows on each side of the screen.